The Humble Scone and His Outfits : the Cheese, the Potato, the Ham, the Soured Cream and all…

“…when someone says they hate scones that generally means they’ve never had a good scone…” Unknown

What are scones? Bread? Pastry? Cake? Dessert? Side-dish? Main? In my experience it depends on the ingredients, on the occasion and on the cultural heritage.

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Scones originally were types of quick bread. I Scotland for example, originally made with oats and griddle-baked, today’s version is more often made with flour and baked in the oven. The origin of the English word “Skone”, some say, comes from the Dutch word ‘schoonbrot’, which means beautiful bread, while others argue it comes from Stone of Destiny, where the Kings of Scotland were crowned. According to Webster’s Dictionary, scones originated in Scotland in the early 1500s.

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The Eastern version, Pogača or Pogacha, Hungarian: Pogácsa, Turkish: poğaça, Albanian: pogaçe is a type of Balkan, Hungarian and Turkish bread traditionally baked in the ashes of the fireplace, and later on in the oven, rather similar to focaccia, with which it has a similar name to. It can be leavened or unleavened, it can also be made from white flour, whole-wheat flour, and a mix of either barley, or (less frequently) rye. It can have potatoes or cheese inside and it also have some grains and herbs like sesame, black sesame, dried dill mixed with its flour.

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Today, there is a scone for almost every occasion, however, its simplistic, humblest versions are still the most tasty ones…My grandmother’s original was made with purely leftover crushed potato, flour, lard and salt (pictured above). If she had an egg, she enriched the dough. When she wanted a lighter, fancier scone, she also added a couple of tablespoons of milk or soured cream and some fresh yeast…

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Ingredients
300 g boiled, crushed potato
500 g flour
2 tbsp lard
20 g fresh yeast
100 ml milk
1 tsp sugar
1 egg
100 g ham, cut into small pieces

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Method
Place milk, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and let it stand until frothy. A flour, melted lard, egg. potato, ham and mix. Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Knead the dough until it is smooth. Let it rise for 30 minutes. Roll on floured surface and take a round cutter, plunge into the dough, then repeat until finished. Brush the tops with beaten egg, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on size) until risen and golden on the top.

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“More and more clearly as the scones disappeared into his interior he saw that what the sensible man wanted was a wife and a home with scones like these always at his diposal.” P.G. Wodehouse

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