help!! scones and grated butter!!
I found this great recipe for blueberry scones and decided to make them for DH's mother. However, as a novice I didn't read through the instructions carefully enough and didn't realize that I needed to grate the butter. I don't have a grater or a food processor to grate the butter. Any suggestions?
I agree that you could chop it fine and accomplish the same objective. Does your recipe speak to the process of "cutting" the butter into the dough? Grating the butter (or chopping it fine) reduces the amount of time necessary to accomplish that step and the grating process is often used by those who may not have a pastry blender tool and involves blending the flour/butter with the fingers after adding the grated pieces of butter to the flour.
Although you can try chopping the butter finely, I suggest you buy a grater -- it's a basic piece of kitchen equipment you'll use over and over, so you might as well get one now.
The usual way of using butter in biscuits and scones is to cut it in with forks or pastry blender. This grating method is a quick and easy alternative. You just grate and mix. I first encountered it in a couple of Chow recipes. Grating works if the butter is hard frozen. If already soft, then cut it into chunks and use the pastry blender (or equivalent) method.
I've also been happy with an oatmeal scones recipe from Joy of Cooking that uses melted butter.
I used to remember wonderful scones that I had at camp as a kid but I could never make a decent one myself. ...until I discovered quite by accident that if I used frozen butter -- I mean really frozen -- I could shave off slices and they would shatter into the flour. Now, I get great scones every time!
Works much better than a pastry blender because you work it so much less and get larger pieces of butter that melt into flakey dough. All you have to do is toss the butter into the dry ingredients, add whatever liquid and stir just until you can gather and press the dough into a mass right on your silicone or parchment lined baking sheet.
Don't attempt to use biscuit cutters -- you don't want rolling and re-rolling or any more handling than absolutely necessary. Form the traditional round or rounds with the mass of dough. Brush the tops of the rounds with whatever cream, egg yolks, etc the recipe calls for. Brush ONLY the top -- you don't want anything sealing or binding the sides and inhibiting any of the leavening in the oven. Sprinkle on whatever sugar, cinnamon sugar, etc. Use your bench knife to cut the rounds into 6-8 wedges and use an offset spatula to separate them slightly by pulling them out from the center.
Now you're ready to bake. They'll rise up like Topsy! The look is rustic. The texture is perfection!