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Star Baker Nadiya Hussain Shares Her Personal Scone Recipe

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Topped with clotted cream and blueberries, this creative scone from The Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussains new cookbook is deliciously improper.

Chris Terry

You might be surprised to learn that Nadiya Hussain, the winner of season 6 of the hit TV series The Great British Bake Off, didnt learn to bake until enrolling in a cooking class at secondary school.

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I didnt grow up in a family where baking was a natural thing, says Hussain, who also hosts Netflix series Nadiyas Time to Eat and Nadiya Bakes. For us it was big pots of food cooking on the stovetop. Any kind of cakes or biscuits that we ate came from shops.

Once she began baking one of the first recipes she learned how to make was for the traditional scone. But while she may be a star baker now, her first try making this quintessential British treat didnt go so well.

I very much over handled [the dough], so it was tough and chewy, says Hussain. My teacher told me, Overworked. Its one of the fundamentals you learn that I go back to time and time again. I love classic scones.

Taking inspiration from another classic, her recipe for scone pizza is a fantastically nontraditional version of the teatime staple. Its featured in her latest book Nadiya Bakes, which was released this past summer.

Nadiya Hussain

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While it doesnt require mozzarella or tomato sauce, her recipe does make a single, large pizza-like scone that is flavored with lavender and lemon, and is topped with layers of clotted cream and blueberry jam. You then use your fingers to pull a slice of scone away and devour it with your hands. The recipe may ruffle a few feathers, she says, but so be it.

There are purists who will read the title of the recipe and say thats not going to happen, she says. But I am not a purist. I am very much about changing and adapting recipes. The rule book out of the windowthats how I cook. This recipe is an example of how my brain works.

Her scone pizza takes less than an hour to make in total, and its the sheer swiftness of the recipe that she finds most comforting.

Its one of those desserts that you can make and not feel like its taken too much effort or time, but it still feels really special, says Hussain. Its not in any way posh or fancy. Its just delicious.

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Read on for Hussains recipe and tips for making this delicious and truly original scone.

Hussain keeps the dough for her scone simple, though she does add a couple of flavor boosters. After incorporating the butter with the flour, salt and baking powder (her pro tip: shake the bowl back and forth occasionally to bring larger butter crumbles to the top of the mixture), she adds the standard sugar and milk, as well as a touch of dried lavender and lemon zest.

Lavender is one of those things likeis it an air freshener? Is it edible? Its a bit hit and miss, she says. Use too much and it feels like youve got potpourri in your mouth, [but dont use] enough and you cant tell its there. So, youve got to hit a good balance.

Scones should always be light and crumbly, and too much mixing or kneading can quickly transform them into a hard, chewy mess. Often when you make scones, you cut them out, and then you have excess that youve got leftover and you bring that [back] together, she says. So that gets handled a little bit more than the first batch. And so, as you go down the tree, your scones become tougher and tougher because that dough has been handled a little bit more.

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Hussains pizza-inspired recipe, however, addresses this with ease. Simply shape it into one large round pie and it will retain the ideal buttery crumble consistency.

Once you have your dough gently rolled out and shaped in that perfect (or not so perfect!) circle, youll need to cut it into slices, like you would a pizza. This way you wont have to worry about losing too much crumble if you cut it after baking.

One of my biggest tips, especially when baking, is to get yourself an oven thermometer, says Hussain. If youre a nervous baker or youve had disasters in the past, you can kind of tweak it if your oven is a little bit off kilter, and it doesnt quite get the temperature right.

When it comes to dressing a scone, there is this age-old debate [between] Devon and Cornwall, she explains. In Cornwall, its jam first and then cream. But I am with Devon, okay? If you were putting butter on bread, you would go for the fat first and then the fruit second, right? Youd never go jam first. So, for me, that seems like it makes sense.

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Either way, theres nothing traditional about this scones assembly. Across the top of the entire scone pizza, she spreads a layer of clotted cream (which she mixes with vanilla bean paste) first and then adds a layer of blueberry jam. The dessert is finished with a sprinkling of lemon zest.

The outer skin of a blueberry is quite fragrant, and I think when you add lavender to the blueberry, it really accentuates that kind of fragrant flavor of blueberry skin, says Hussain. At the end, give it a quick brush with the lemon zest on top, which gives it a gorgeous freshness.

Whats great about this recipe is that it works with a lot of different flavors and ingredients. Hussain is particularly fond of strawberry jam on dried basil scones, and her kids love her banana and caramel topping on hazelnut and chocolate scones. Whatever combination you choose to feature, she stresses that this pizza scone is best eaten right away (and certainly doesnt need to be reserved for afternoon tea).

Its one of those recipes that you can literally plunk in the middle of the table and say, Here you go, and everybody gets their hands in, she says. Thats what I love about it.

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Makes 12 wedges

INGREDIENTS

For the Scone

  • 2.75 cups All-purpose flour, sifted, plus a little extra for dusting
  • .75 tsp Salt
  • 5 tsp Baking powder
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted butter, softened
  • .25 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Dried lavender, crushed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • .75 cup Whole milk, room temperature

For the Topping

Read more on: thedailybeast, hussain, hf


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