Baking Mad with hot cross scones

Last week I received rather a lovely Easter gift, in the form of several products from the Baking Mad website.

If you like eating, baking or just looking at pictures of delicious goodies, you might like to have a quick squiz at some of their tasty treats. They have lots of Easter recipes and lovely photos of Easter baking to inspire you.

The parcel I was sent contained the following items – oven gloves, a pinny (apron) and a box of Easter picks and cupcake cases:

Many years ago I had a PVC pinny with a barn owl on it, but it seems to have vamooshed during one of my many house moves over the years, and for a long time now I’ve gone pinnyless in the kitchen.

Living in my parents’ house at the moment means that I do in fact have access to pinnies of theirs, but I’m so used to not having one that I usually get covered in flour before it occurs to me that I might have put one on.

No more though, for I now have a pinny of my own again:

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To christen my new pinny I made some scones, although I’m also looking forward to using the cupcake cases and Easter picks, which are very delightful:

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This morning I felt in the mood for fruit bran scones, but I Eastered them up with a little gilding. Here they are being taken out of the oven by my brand new oven gloves:

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Hot cross scones:

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The crosses on hot cross buns are generally made from little bits of pastry, but since I didn’t have any pastry scraps I used strips of marzipan.

The marzipan did get slightly burnt at the edges, but well fired marzipan is one of life’s little surprises – amazingly tasty.

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One of the things I like about scones is the speed at which they go from ingredients to finished product, but one day when I’m not so desperately hungry I would like to try making these hot cross buns, which look utterly superb.

When I’d finished making the scones, I hung up my oven gloves next to my mum’s ones:

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And proudly added my pinny to the pinny pegs:

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Then I put the kettle on, made a pot of popcorn tea…

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… selected a scone….

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…and settled down to write this post.

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I didn’t make the scones very sweet, so I spread on a bit of blackcurrant jam, which added a nice fruity zing:

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If you’d like to try making these for yourself and need a recipe, here’s the one I used (below).

This mix makes quite a substantial dense sort of scone, but if you want to make more traditional fluffy white scones just omit the bran and wholemeal flour and use 8 oz white flour instead. Leave out the sultanas if you don’t fancy them, or bung in some other fruit/nut/seed/ingredient that’s more to your taste. You could also leave out the egg and substitute nut or soya milk for cow’s milk.

Fruit Bran Scones

2 oz bran

5 oz self-raising white flour

1 oz self-raising wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 oz fat (I used Bertolli spread, but you could use any margarine or butter)

1 oz soft brown sugar

a handful of sultanas

1 beaten egg

enough milk (I didn’t measure but something like 3 or 4 tbsps?) to make the mixture into a dampish malleable consistency

small strips of marzipan

Put a shelf at the top of the oven and set to high (I use 210ÂșC in a fan oven).

Mix together the first 5 ingredients using the rubbing in method (or an electric mixer if you prefer), but don’t rub in too much, handle lightly and stop before all the fat has disappeared into the flour.

Add the other ingredients, keeping back a little of the egg (1 tsp or so), and mix until combined.

Pat the dough out lightly (you could roll it using a rolling pin but this may stop the scones from rising as much) on a floured surface to about 1 inch thick and cut out using a scone cutter, or shape the scones into whatever shape and size you want.

Put scones onto a baking tray and brush with most of remaining beaten egg. Lay marzipan strips across scones and brush with any leftover egg.

Bake for anything between 10 minutes (wee scones) and 20 minutes (very big scones), depending on the size of the scones.

(I made 5 from this amount and cooked them for 16 minutes. If you’re not sure how long to cook them for, you can use the cake testing method of sticking a skewer in one to see if it comes out clean, or you could pick one up and see how it feels. When cooked the scones should feel light (assessing this might take a bit of practice, I just discovered this test for myself after baking quite a lot of scones with varying degress of success).)

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Categories: Baking, Cake, Easter, Holidays, Photography, Scone, Scotland, Tea, Teacup, Teapot | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

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43 thoughts on “Baking Mad with hot cross scones

  1. What a cute set! I’m now going to call my (very abused) apron a pinny.

    PS what a cheerful kitchen! Great light.

  2. That sounds like a lovely way to spend a morning! I love your pinny and matching oven gloves. I can’t remember when I last wore an apron! The scones look delicious, and I like the marzipan ‘cross’ – I might try that. It never occurs to me that you can cook marzipan – but of course it’s in simnel cakes! I made 2 carrot cakes this morning, turned out well. PS What’s popcorn tea?

    • Thanks Jo, I only remembered about the marzipan possibility because my mum makes what she calls volcano cakes, which are small buns with a concave shape of marzipan pushed into the top and filled with jam before baking to make them look like erupting volcanoes when cooked (very nice they are, too). Excellent job with your carrot cakes – two, to boot! Popcorn tea is a lovely thing, also known as Genmaicha. It’s green tea mixed with toasted rice and I think it tastes a bit like sugar puffs.

      • Wow, your mum’s volcano cakes sound good! Is that a made-up recipe? It reminds me that last year, around 21st December I made what I called Apocalypse Tarts. I had just watched a programme about the Mayan predictions and I was pretty sure this was what their message was all about. The tarts worked much better than my Titanic Cake, which I’m still famous for (even though I made it 20 years ago). Yes, it sank! The Genmaicha tea sounds intriguing – I have never even heard of it.

        • I think she did invent volcano cakes herself, yes. I’m intrigued by your Apocalypse Tarts, what did they consist of? At first when I read ‘Titanic Cake’ I had a mental image of an amazing cake in the shape of an ocean liner, but I’m guessing that wasn’t the case. Genmaicha is possibly an acquired taste, but I find it very pleasing. It’s not something you can always find in mainstream shops but Chinese supermarkets or health food shops are a good source.

          • Haha, Lorna if you could see my efforts at cake decorating you’d know that an ocean liner is never going to happen! But wouldn’t it be amazing to see one?
            No, unfortunately the Titanic Cake is legendary for the wrong reasons. However the Apocalypse Tarts were very well received. Basically I just rolled out some left-over puff pastry from making sausage rolls, cut it up into rounds with a fluted pastry cutter, put them into a mince pie tray and then topped them with finely chopped fried bacon, onion, tomato, mushroom, a sprinkle of oregano, salt, pepper and topped with grated cheddar and parmesan. 10 min or so in a hot oven, and you’re ready for the Apocalypse!
            The title came about because I saw a historian on TV (can’t remember his name), saying basically they had no idea what the Mayans were on about because the all-important carving was damaged, but to him the symbols suggested a celebration, and there was a picture of hands in prayer or worship (or, in my mind, doing some baking). And I thought, well, if the Apocalypse happens I’ll have used up my puff pastry, and if it doesn’t, we’ll have some tartlets to celebrate!

            • Those tarts sound very tasty, I’d like to try making a version of them. I like the thought of having used up your puff pastry in the event of the Apocalypse. Very practical. :-)

  3. The fruit bran scones look absolutely divine. And because anything with bran and fruit is undoubtedly healthy, you can eat four or five without feeling even a twinge of guilt. Mind you the hot cross buns look pretty decent too. Well done on another great post!

    • Thanks David, I think if you tried to eat four or five of these bran scones they would floor you, they’re quite substantial little bundles. I love hot cross buns but I lazily buy them from the supermarket, I should really try making some myself.

  4. I know I’m only just up, and I did read it twice … but again … popcorn tea? Am I losing my mind?

  5. Actually, now having filtered out the relevant info just above … it sounds lovely. But still … :)

  6. Wow those scones look so yummy – and catch you! You look fab in your apron. I always forget to put one on. (And isn’t ‘pinny’ from ‘pinafore’?) I was admiring your dexterity in photographing yourself taking hot baking out of the oven.

    I was also stopped in my tracks by the mention of “popcorn tea”. Was that just to test whether we were paying attention?

    • Thanks Christine. My dad read your comment this morning and said to me ‘I can’t believe you didn’t know that pinny was short for pinafore’. Alas, it’s true, that abbreviation had completely escaped me but I see the sense in it now. Do you use the word ‘pinny’? I’m beginning to think it might be a more global word than I had at first thought. The main problem with photographing hot things coming out of the oven is that the steam gets onto the lens, but it came out better than expected in the circumstances.

      I like the idea of bunging in obscure words or ideas to check if the reader’s paying attention, but I didn’t intend it to have that effect. I think I need to do a post about popcorn tea, it’s a real thing and I’m quite partial to it.

      • Hi again – I’d never heard ‘pinny’ for apron before coming to Scotland. In fact ‘pinafore’ isn’t a word I think is used nowadays in America, although I knew it from Gilbert and Sullivan (did you ever serve on that ship?!).

  7. Great post! Finally we get to see the wonderful writer of this blog ! The scones look delicious and I will definitely try the recipe. Thank you for sharing Lorna!

    • Thanks Aparna, I hope you enjoy them if you try the recipe. I think the key thing with scones is light handling, just enough to get you from a to b.

  8. okay, love the pinny, love the teapot and it looks like a fun website. had a bit of a squint on there. i was very impressed with how clean and tidy your oven mitts and your mum’s are. mine are scrunched in my bottom oven drawer and are much used and are usually needing a good clean. i’m thinking maybe it’s time for a new pair. :)

    • Oven mitts, that’s a lovely term. Mine are only like that because they’re so new and unused, and my mum is very good about washing hers, which is why they look so clean. I think a new pair of mitts sounds like a jolly nice idea.

  9. We picked up a great pinny when we were in Scotland. The caption on the pinny says “If it’s broon it’s cooked, it it’s black it’s buggered!”
    Your scones look delicious. That’s a great idea to do scones instead of buns.
    Glad someone asked about popcorn tea, I had no idea either. Now I know.

  10. It took me a minute to understand that “piney” is an apron…love the term and may begin using it to describe my aprons (which I notoriously forget to use until my husband suggests it after seeing flour on my clothes…also…popcorn tea is a favorite of mine and my sisters – mmmm

    • I didn’t realise that ‘pinny’ is short for ‘pinafore’ but apparently that’s where it comes from. It seems quite a common state of affairs to forget to don a pinny before starting work in the kitchen, I suppose it’s a habit you have to try to get into. Glad to hear you enjoy the popcorn tea, it’s rather a comforting brew isn’t it?

  11. So tasty and definitely a great way to christen the new pinny & oven gloves. I had never thought of using marzipan for the crosses, such a nice surprise for folks to enjoy (and me as I’m a fan of the nutty stuff too!) looking forward to seeing those Easter chicks too!

    • Thanks Alice, I’m not sure how the crosses would work using marzipan on buns rather than scones, because they’d be in the oven for longer wouldn’t they? Might be worth a try though, I’m sure they’d taste nice. The Easter chicks are sweet aren’t they? :-)

  12. Oh yum! I love toasted marzipan and those hot cross scones look fabulous, will definitely be making some of those, maybe even for my secret tea party this weekend, my mouth is watering at the thought. Ann x

  13. I will have to check out baking mad! Great piney.

  14. How fun to receive these gifts! The pattern is so cute :)

  15. Awesome pinny Lorna!!! I am lost without my apron collection as I am a complete messmaker when I cook and end up covered in stuff. Must admit I am partial to the PVC coated pinnies as they stop that terrible seepage from leaning up against wet stuff that soaks through cloth aprons and onto your clothes. (Told you I was messy!)

    Am going to try your scone recipe this weekend. Hooray!

    • Thanks Nicole, you have a pinny collection? I was quite fond of the PVC barn owl one I used to have, the only problem I found was that liquid slid right down it onto the floor/my feet. On the plus side, as you say, no seepage. I hope your scones turn out beautifully, having seen many delicious food items on your blog I’m sure they will!

  16. Love the scones recipe and will try it. If you don’t have self raising flour, how much baking powder and /or soda should you use? I love anything with bran and whole wheat flour. Love the oven glove and apron (pinny as my yorkshire hubby says)

    • Thanks Darlene, maybe pinny is a British term? This advice from the BBC Good Food website might answer your question about flour:

      “To make self-raising flour add one teaspoon (or equivalent homemade) to 110g of plain flour. (To make baking powder, combine half a teaspoon of cream of tartar and quarter of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. This provides the equivalent of one teaspoon of baking powder.)”

      It gets confusing with different types of measurement and I usually use imperial (ounces) because that’s what I was brought up with, but for my recipe you would use roughly 3 teaspoons of baking powder (that includes the 1tsp already in the recipe) if all of the flour was plain, not self raising.

  17. S Joe

    I finally got to see you and you look very pretty. I love the pinny and the entire easter collection. I am so good at admiring people who bake and eating baked food but my laziness prevents me from doing any real baking. The only baking experience I have is when I made a plain vanilla sponge cake (with no icing) for my husband’s first birthday since our wedding. I did no icing because a) I did not know how to do it and b) I thought I might truly mess up the cake if I did it :) So delighted to see your lovely scones!

    • Thank you Sukirtha, I think once you really get into baking it’s hard to stop! I often have a desire to bake more than my family can possibly eat, it’s a bit of a problem. I sympathise on the icing front (although I think it’s lovely that you made a cake for your husband’s birthday), because I’m not good at icing either. I often prefer to eat cakes un-iced, but I must admit they do look nice when they’re all decorated.

  18. Lorna, you’re adorable, and you look smashing in your new pinny. You also look quite content whipping up a batch of this & that in your natural habitat: the kitchen. I’ve been craving scones after reading this post (a shock, I know) and might just have to get off my duff to go bake some — just so I can sit back on my duff to eat them. I also have a new tea to try. Popcorn tea, hmmm. I think I’m going to like it. (Maybe I’ll have it with some hot buttered scones.) xo

    • Thank you Lucinda, if there’s one thing that helps a scone down the hatch it’s a nice cup of tea. I do hope you manage to satisfy your craving, and of course you’ll be serving your baked goods on some beautiful china. It sounds to me like the perfect Sunday treat: tea, scones and lovely china. Bliss!

  19. I love your new baking things! And this recipe looks delicious, I think I will try it :)

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