March 2014

March 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mary v. Paul - scones

Buttermilk scone ingredients
Since 1994 my baking bible has been Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book and I have always used her scone recipe. Then, last year, I started to use her newer version which, apart from the usual ingredients, also contained buttermilk. However, I am always on the look-out for a ‘best ever’ result and so I decided to put Mary up against Paul Hollywood by way of a challenge.

Mary's buttermilk scones

As you can see, with the addition of buttermilk, Mary’s light scones turned out well, with a soft, moist and crumbly texture, and they had a satisfying slightly crunchy exterior. 

Paul's scone dough
Paul’s published recipe, however, uses strong bread flour, with the usual butter, sugar, eggs and milk and the method is, of course, very similar.  They also rose very well, kept their shape, had a slightly closer texture but had a good flavour - I was pleased with the result.

As usual, my scones were at their very best when eaten still slightly warm from the oven and served with butter or cream and, in this instance, last year’s home-made wild plum jam.

And which version came top? Well, to be honest it was a difficult choice but, controversially, I think that Paul may have just pipped Mary at the post by a nose, just for good looks, but I will happily use both recipes in the future – depending on which ingredients I have in the cupboard at the time!  

Paul's recipe

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