A few weeks ago I was invited by ao.com to attend a blogging event. With a theme like ‘Afternoon Tea Delights’ and the promise of Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite there was simply no way I could refuse.
I have a soft spot for ao.com ever since my oven, washing machine and fridge all died on me within days of each other a few days after Christmas in 2012. I had to order replacements post haste and true to their word they not only delivered within 12 hours of ordering but also took the old appliances to the great scrapyard in the sky.
The event started with a tour and short demo of their popular Neff ovens including the ‘Slide and Hide’ model which is used on Great British Bake Off. I would definitely install this oven in my dream kitchen (which, incidentally, is pristine white and never, ever, gets dirty).
We then got our hands dirty making scones with John who is both extremely likeable and clearly passionate about scones (and baking in general, obviously). John had some tips that were new to me – including twisting the cutter in order to create the best height and leaving the scones to rise at room temperature prior to baking. You can see him demonstrate the recipe we made here.
I put all the scone know-how to good use once I got home to create these wonderful Orange poppyseed scones. They are fragrant, slightly sweet and absolutely wonderful for breakfast or afternoon tea with a little orange or apricot jam. My husband ate three in quick succession and I am pretty confident you will love them too.
- 125g | 4½oz | 1 cup plain flour
- 125g | 4½oz | 1 cup bread flour
- 75g | 2½oz | ⅓ cup sugar (I used golden caster)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- ¼ tsp salt
- zest of 3 oranges
- 50g | 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cubed
- 125g | ½ cup natural yoghurt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk to glaze
- Preheat the oven to 220C | 430 F. Line a large tray with baking paper.
- Put the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, poppy seeds and orange zest in a large bowl and mix together.
- Add the cubed butter and rub with your fingers until mix resembles coarse sand.
- Mix the yoghurt, lemon juice and egg in a measuring jug.
- Add a third to the flour mixture and use a scraper (or spoon) to mix together gently. If the mixture is too dry add a little more yoghurt. Only use as much yoghurt as you need for the dough to hold together.
- Dust your worktop with flour and tip the scone mix onto it. Shake off any dry excess and pat the dough into a rectangle at least 4cm (1½ inch) high.
- Use a floured fluted cutter (mine was fairly small) and with a twisting motion cut out the scones and place on the tray, spaced slightly apart.
- Gather the dough scraps, gently pat into shape and repeat until you have used all the dough.
- Cover the scones with cling film and rest at room temperature for half an hour (optional).
- Glaze the scones with a little egg wash and bake for 10-18 minutes (depending on their size) until risen and golden.
- Remove from the oven and cover with a damp tea towel for 10 minutes before serving. Split open and slather with butter and a little jam.