Shortly after moving to East Texas, I learned one of the locals’ favorite sayings: if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change.” Consider our past three days of weather for veritable proof: hot and sunny Wednesday, chilly and rainy Thursday, cold and snowing Friday. I’ve chucked my sandals to the back of the closet in favor of fleece-lined clogs; at least until tomorrow.
Like the weather, I’m in flux: I’ve changed my mind about posting, at least for this morning, abandoning thoughts of dinner in favor of baking. I figure such a move is tolerable considering the weather, and what awaits this afternoon: my first root canal. I’ve kept it from all of you these past few days; how does one slip shooting pain and groggy drugged-ness into the conversation? Perhaps three days of tofu explains it all.
Experiencing a toothache, noting its accompanying crankiness, slows the food blogger down, makes her pay attention to her work until, finally, she lands on a subject that will both satisfy readers and render a product that is easily chewed on one side of the mouth. So as we all head into the weekend (especially one where an hour’s sleep will be lost), I propose a quick baking cure and scones for all.
I like eating scones for weekend breakfasts; I don’t like making scones on weekend mornings. I prefer putzing and paper-reading. So I’m making the scones now to re-heat tomorrow, and eating one or two today for a dose of pre-root canal comfort (Am I on to something here? Pre-dental-work food?)
I found my extra-large, three-dollar metal mixing bowl, the finest and best bowl I ever bought, considering the price, in the pantry. Nick likes to bang on it as much as I like to mix in it, so its location changes frequently. I like that bowl. It’s the kind of thing you can rough-handle and nothing happens to it. It’s also the best bowl for mixing scones.
I didn’t intend for these to be whole wheat scones; I merely forgot that most of the all-purpose flour went into the ciabatta last Sunday, and I failed to buy more. So whole wheat flour entered the mix. I whisked, stirred and shaped, then slipped the triangles into the oven to bake, all with one lingering question: can a handicapped mouth chew a whole wheat scone?
I had my answer in twenty minutes: Yes (so long as I limited my chewing to the right, posterior quadrant of my mouth). Moreover, the nuttiness of the whole wheat flour, in combination with the floral pears and spices, is a winner. Now, that is choice toothache eating.
I’m still figuring out what to do about dinner. I’m thinking mush is the right direction. Perhaps polenta? I’ll post the results. Wish me luck!
Whole Wheat Pear Scones with Sweet Spices
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1.2 stick) chilled butter, cut into small bits
1 cup shredded peeled pear
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk, divided use
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sugar
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl whish the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, soda and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or you fingers until mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. Add the pear, 1/2 cup milk, and vanilla, stirring just until moist (dough will be sticky).
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide dough in half; gently knead and pat each portion into a 6-inch circle. Place each circle on prepared sheet. Cut each circle into 5 wedges, cutting into but not through, dough. Brush tops of wedges with remaining 2 tablespoons milk, and sprinkle evenly with the sugar.
Bake 14-17 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes 10 scones.
Nutrition per Serving (1 scone):
Calories 172; Fat 5.2g (sat 3.1g, mono 1.3g, poly 0,4g); Protein 3.7g; Cholesterol 13.1mg; Carbohydrate 28.1g; Sodium 319mg.
(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)