MAPLE BACON SCONES
When I lived in Montréal, the Atwater farmers’ market was only a short walk away. I visited the market every weekend and each time, I would stop and say hi to my favorite butcher. I will refrain from mentioning his name since I wouldn’t want to get him in trouble. See, we had a secret barter deal. I would get free bacon and then would go home, bake these scones and would bring him back some. He would tell me every time that I should become a baker. Well, I guess he knew something I didn’t at the time.
When I moved to Toronto, I never thought maple syrup would be SO expensive. I didn’t know what to do since I basically cannot live without maple syrup. I put it in my overnight oats, my granola, muffins, cakes, my coffee, my drinks, etc. So, the first time we went back to Montréal after moving, Jon bought me the best of all gifts, a huge 4L jug of maple syrup! It didn’t last long…
I am so excited to introduce you to this recipe because it comes from my absolute favorite cookbook, Huckleberry. I have a hard copy of it at home and a digital one on my phone that I carry with me everywhere, just in case. Zoe Nathan taught me a few essential things about baking. First, buy a scale. The precision you get by using it is far superior. By using cups, you risk adding too much flour which can result in tough, hard and dry baked goods. No one wants that! Because I’m a lazy person, I also appreciate that it typically makes me use less dishes. Second life changing lesson, use salt when baking. In fact, she recommends to double the amount of salt of any baking recipe (except for hers, of course). Trust me, half a teaspoon of salt won’t make your cookies taste salty, but without it, they may actually be overly sweet or worst, bland. Salt will bring out the flavours in your desserts and balance their sweetness.
I love making scones. I always make a big batch and store them in the freezer unbaked. Then, whenever I want freshly baked ones, I turn on the oven, pop them in and voilà! Making scones can be a little intimidating at first, but if you keep your butter cold until you’re ready to mix it in the dry ingredients, you’re good to go!
MAPLE BACON SCONES
12 huge scones
15 thick-cut slices of bacon from the butcher
750 g (5 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp salt
454 g (2 cups) cold butter, cut into 1cm cubes
120 ml (1/2 cup) cold maple syrup
180 ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk or cold milk mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp 35% cream
180 ml (3/4 cup) maple syrup
Heat the oven at 350ºF. Place the slices of bacon on a sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure not to overlap them. Bake them for 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer the bacon fat in a small bowl and cut the bacon in pieces of 1 to 2 cm. You can turn off the oven now.
In a food processor (see tips and tricks if you don’t have one), combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt by pulsing a few times. Add the butter and pulse again a few seconds at a time, until the butter pieces are pea-size and the dry ingredients have a sandy texture. Transfer the ingredients to a bowl and add the bacon pieces, 2 tbsp of the reserved bacon fat, the cold maple syrup and the buttermilk. Stir all the ingredients using a spatula and dump the rough dough on a clean surface.
Knead the dough by hand until it holds together. Avoid handling the dough for too long as you want to keep it cold. Flatten into a rectangular shape that’s about 3 cm thick. I like to cut my scones in square, rectangles or triangles to avoid waste when they are cut in a round shape.
Wrap the scones in packs of two with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer overnight or for minimum 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lay the frozen scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and cream and brush the scones with this egg wash. Bake them immediately until they start browning, approximately 25 minutes. Drizzle 1 tbsp of maple syrup on each scone and return the oven until golden brown, another 5 to 10 minutes. The scones are best eaten the day of.
TIPS AND TRICKS
If you don’t have a food processor you can always break the butter with your fingertips in the dry ingredients. I always keep the fat from bacon when I cook some and keep it in the fridge. It’s delicious to fry an egg or hearthy vegetables, like mushrooms.
Scones keep in the freezer for 3 months. I recommend wrapping them with an extra layer of aluminium paper if you want to keep them in there for more than a few days so that they don’t absorb funky odours.
Hi! I’m Steph. Originally from Montréal, I moved to Toronto in 2015. I spend my days working at the most quaint Swedish coffee shop making cinnamon buns and adding cardamom to everything I bake. In this blog, I want to share with you recipes that remind me of home, travel stories filled with new food discoveries and the restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries I love to visit most in my new city.