Friday, April 29, 2011

Recipe: Scones

I was already planning on posting this recipe for scones soon (below if you want to skip my wordiness), but thought it would be neat to post on the day of the royal wedding.  I didn't get up early to watch the wedding, and I'm not really the kind who gets into weddings at all, but I was actually somewhat interested, I think mostly because of the history I've learned about England in recent years as part of homeschooling (I knew almost nothing previously, save little bits of their history that related to America's).  The country has such a long and interesting past.  My oldest daughter especially likes European history at this point, too, and I wanted to see if I thought it was worth showing her at least some highlights from the wedding. I watched some here when I did get up, and showed the children later.

This recipe is adapted from Sue Gregg's book, Lunches and Snacks (Edit: mine is the 2nd edition, copyright 1991).  We are (very slowly) going through that book trying recipes and making them more along our idea of healthy, ha.  Sue Gregg's books have a lot about them that's good; I got them because of that, and because I found them used (here's a link to used on Amazon, but I may have gotten mine on Ebay -- shop around).  I wouldn't have paid full price for them because I knew I'd want to modify a lot since she's a low-fat advocate,* and I am decidedly not. :)  Lunches and Snacks goes along with part of our homeschool cooking instruction.  I got a CD version of a book a while back called  Training Our Daughters to be Keepers at Home (that link is to Rainbow Resource, which may be where I got it, can't remember for sure -- here's a link to the book on Amazon if you prefer the book version instead), which outlines a course of study over a number of years for girls incorporating many subjects, including cooking.  It uses the Sue Gregg books. 

I do like Sue Gregg's cookbooks.  They explain things fairly well, she uses pretty healthy ingredients for the most part, she gives many interesting facts about nutrition, and she believes in the Bible and even mentions God and scripture freely throughout.  Lunches and Snacks also has a section geared for children, which is kind of nice to enable them to learn to follow a recipe. She does view low-fat food as the ideal,* and that really comes through in her recipes. However, this doesn't affect all recipes a lot, and many can be modified to include more fats.

[*Edit 8/13/13:  Richard Gregg left a comment in which he explained that Sue Gregg's views concerning fats have changed.  He says she does not advocate low-fat diets, and there are more recent editions of her books which reflect this.  Feel free to read our exchange below for more information.]

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon of some kind of sweetener (we usually use honey or some form of less refined sugar for this -- Rapadura/Sucanat are good choices, but I've also used Florida Crystals)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 C. milk is what the original recipe calls for but in our experience we've needed to add more until we're able to make a ball with it (it may be partly because she uses "lowfat or nonfat" milk and we use whole, but we have to add significantly more -- sorry I can't tell you exactly how much but yours may vary from ours anyway)

Mix dry ingredients.  Work butter in until it makes a crumbly mixture.  Add milk to make a soft dough.  Gather the dough into a ball with your hands, then roll or pat out on a flat surface to about 3/4 inches thick. 
Cut scones with a 2-inch cookie cutter or glass rim dipped in flour.  She says not to reroll the scraps for fear of overhandling the dough, but we do it anyway as it seems to work better.  Alternatively, you can make a circle of the rolled out dough and slice it like a pie, or a rectangle and cut squares, or cut them in shapes w/cookie cutters (if they vary much in size keep in mind you might need to change the cooking time) -- my daughters like heart-shaped (especially my oldest may turn out to be one of those ladies whose food is always attractive-looking).
Place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until nicely browned.
The original recipe says it makes 7.  I usually at least double it for our family, and often more.  We think they are good cold for a snack, too.
Also, I've used part lard for the fat at least once (and added at least a bit more fat at times -- not sure how much you could tweak that), and liked the results.

For more recipe posts, visit my "Recipes" page.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday.  Check it out for nourishing recipes.


  1. This review on Sue Gregg's scones recipe fails to cite the copyright date of the source book. Consequently it fails to represent Sue Gregg accurately when it says: Sue Gregg's " a low-fat advocate . . . She does view low-fat food as the ideal, and that really comes through in her recipes."

    Since 1977 Sue Gregg has constantly updated her cookbooks. Some are now in 5th editions. If you inspect her current editions copyrighted within the last six years, you'll find that she DOES NOT advocate low fat diets. She is careful to use quality fats such as olive oil and coconut oil.

    The Publisher

    1. Thank you for your informative comment. Sorry it took me a long time to approve and reply. We've been dealing with a move and just now have I found a good time to look at my Lunches and Snacks cookbook to see the copyright date. It is 1991 and is the 2nd edition. I will edit the post to add this info, and something concerning her changed view of fats as well.

      I was unaware that Sue had made significant modifications to her cookbooks with regard to fat. From just looking at the website casually I would have remained unaware of this, as I still see some of the books advertised as containing "low fat" recipes.

      The Lunches and Snacks 4th edition shown on your site still looks much like the cover of the edition I have. However, looking at the preview, it does appear there have been some changes relevant to fat, even from the limited amount I can see. In the "Sunshine Shake" recipe, I see that "1/2 cup lowfat vanilla or plain yogurt" has been replaced with "1/2 cup plain yogurt, Almond Milk or Coconut Milk." I also note that the food pyramid presented no longer has red meat at the top as something to eat only "A few times per month." It has been restructured significantly and appears less restrictive of fat and red meat/eggs.

      It would seem that Sue's views on fat are more similar to my own than I thought now, though it's hard for me to say how similar just from seeing a preview.