Martin Philip's Ginger Scones

December 20, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

This recipe from Martin Philip's Breaking Bread, changed the way I make scones. He advocates substituting white whole wheat four for 100% of the all-purpose called for in the recipe, and supplementing with an additional 10% to 20% more heavy cream to supplement the hydration (Whole grain flour contains bran, which absorbs more liquid than flour milled from only the endosperm portion (the white, starchy part) of the wheat, he says.) He also taught me that the dry ingredients can and should be mixed in advance, and stored in the freezer. Chilling the dry mix serves two purposes for doughs like this one: as with storing flour in the freezer initially, it keeps whole flours fresher, and it also optimizes the temperature of the dry mix for the eventual working in of the butter, which needs to be kept cold (and unmelted). Resulting in scones so flaky and tender, you'll want to smother them in jam just to watch it seep into their crags.

Ella Quittner

Food52 Review: Featured in: "These Extra-Tender Ginger Scones Are a Cross Between Flaky Biscuits & Spice Cookies."The Editors

Makes: 8 medium scones
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 22 min

Ingredients

  • 240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour (Editor's note: see above, about swapping in whole grain flours)
  • 8 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) salt, fine
  • 1 gram (1/2 teaspoon) black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 grams (1 teaspoon) cinnamon, freshly ground
  • 1 gram (1/2 teaspoon) coriander, freshly ground
  • 1 gram (1/2 teaspoon) cardamom, freshly ground
  • 1/2 gram (1/4 teaspoon) cloves, freshly ground
  • 92 grams (1/2 cup) crystallized ginger
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup, or 4 tablespoons) butter, unsalted
  • 177 grams (3/4 cup) heavy cream (Editor's note: plan on adding another 15-25 grams or so, if you're swapping in a whole grain flour)
  • 53 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar, light or dark
  • Coarse sugar, for garnish (optional)
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Prepare: Position an oven rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a 13x18-inch sheet pan, or line it with parchment paper. Weigh and chill the dry ingredients. Chop the crystallized ginger into pea-sized pieces. Cut the butter into 1/8-inch-thick slices and chill until use.
  2. Mix: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the ground dry spices. (This can be done up to one week in advance—just keep the dry ingredients covered in the freezer until you're ready to use.) Add the cold butter and toss to coat with the dry ingredients. Then press the butter slices between your thumb and forefinger into small flat pieces or “leaves.” Add the chopped crystallized ginger and toss to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and brown sugar. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently until the mixture is just combined. The dough should be firm and barely cohesive (some dry bits are okay).
  4. Shape: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and fold a few times to incorporate any dry bits if necessary. Pat the dough into a circle about 1-inch thick and 7-inches across. At this point, you may chill the dough until set for easier cutting. Cut the dough into 8 pieces with a chef’s knife, cutting directly down; don’t saw, as this will interfere with the rising. Arrange the scones evenly on the sheet pan.
  5. Bake: Brush the scones with egg wash, and sprinkle all over with turbinado sugar. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes on the top rack, rotating after 14 minutes, until they are lightly golden and firm to the touch.

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Reviews (9) Questions (1)

9 Reviews

Rick January 20, 2019
Flavor was amazing & texture worked out as advertised. We used regular (organic) AP flour but did follow the freeze ahead instructions. After about 16 minutes, there were dark golden brown and we pulled them at 18 which was the limit—not sure if I will try 400F next time. (Not sure if dark brown sugar played a role, here & I goofed and did not egg wash. I whipped the leftover cream with sugar, cinnamon & vanilla to spread on the sconookies). 4.5 stars
 
Anne January 1, 2019
The recipe says to brush scones with egg wash but egg isn’t in the ingredient list. Should it be egg white or whole egg?
 
Author Comment
Ella Q. January 1, 2019
Hi Anne,<br /><br />You can use any egg wash recipe here. I typically do 1 whole egg beat lightly with a big splash of cream. <br /><br />Ella
 
Victoria January 1, 2019
Um. I’ve made these twice in the last two days. The second time I cut them in to 16 mini scones instead of 8 large and froze 8 of them to bake at a later date, some dark and cold morning when I need a lift. Adjust baking time to 17 minutes and rotate at 9. OMG. New traditional Christmas morning baking.
 
Author Comment
Ella Q. January 1, 2019
So happy to hear that, Victoria!
 
NancyFromKona December 30, 2018
Made these for breakfast, just ate another this afternoon. Made with white whole wheat flour and freshly ground spices as specified which came together easily, made my kitchen smell heavenly, product remains very flaky even hours after coming out of the oven. Appreciated the teaching to put scone dry mixes in freezer and glad now I have a batch frozen. I made these instead of a high count fresh ginger cookie recipe I favor during the holidays and my waistline will benefit. A little too sweet for my breakfast so in the future I will make them for tea perhaps cut in tiny squares with a little orange zest. FYI if you are visiting Hawaii, look in the produce section of the grocery or bulk isle at health food stores where locally made crystallized ginger is VERY inexpensive ($3 for 8 oz at KTA). Yes, yes I know how to make the ginger but mine is all currently dipped in chocolate!
 
cherstuff December 29, 2018
Love this recipe. Great flavour and so easy. I added some sourdough culture and let the shaped scones ferment at room temperature for 6 hours. Excellent! Thank you.
 
mi_amiga December 29, 2018
Do you mind sharing? Love the idea of using sourdough but have never altered a recipe....
 
cherstuff December 30, 2018
There are a few tricks to adding sourdough starter to a recipe and it varies from recipe to recipe - so no hard and fast rule except that I never add more than 20% starter by weight compared to the total flour weight. If you are using 100% hydration starter you can often simply add it to the recipe with no further changes. In this case I decreased the heavy cream to 145 grams and added 50 grams of mature starter. The starter should be just past peak, only just beginning to decrease in volume. Mix the cream and starter together before adding to the dry ingredients, then follow the recipe instructions for mixing. I allow it to ferment after shaping and cutting for 6 hours at room temperature to get the benefits of fermenting the grain. Good luck! I would be interested to know how it works for you.