Chef Ben Vaughn is a culinary artist. Over the years, Chef Ben Vaughn has developed a base of readers that love his creations. Many diners and readers ask questions of Chef Ben Vaughn. Here he responds to some common kitchen concerns with his unique brand of kitchen wisdom.
Chef Ben Vaughn is often asked how to make scones that don’t turn out like stones. The secret, says Chef Ben Vaughn, is to avoid spending too much time on your scones. Traditionally, scones are a short order pastry made for tea and breakfast. This means that scones should be mixed and baked in a short period of time. If you handle your scone batter for too long, warns Chef Ben Vaughn, you increase the chances of the scones getting too hard.
Mix together the flour, butter, and milk for your scones while you turn on your oven. Beat the batter quickly in a Kitchen Aid or similar powerful mixer, says Chef Ben Vaughn. Once the milk is added, the batter should be ready, and quite moist. Cut the scone batter on a well-floured board and get the scones into the oven before the oven finishes preheating. Scones, says Chef Ben Vaughn, ought to be baked in a rising oven. This means that the oven temperature is still rising toward the correct temperature. The scones will bake by constantly getting hotter, but never burning.
Scones are intentionally simple, Chef Ben Vaughn reminds home cooks. People often treat scone baking with the same labor intensity as crepes or croissants. Chef Ben Vaughn explains that scones are in fact even simpler than cookies. If you give them their due, says Chef Ben Vaughn, they will turn out rather delicious. If scones are over handled, however, they become hard and unappetizing. One way to make sure you don’t spend too much time preparing your scones, suggests Chef Ben Vaughn, is to have some eager guests waiting while you bake. If you’ve got an audience waiting for your scones, you won’t waste time, and the results will be delightful.