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Recipe: Jazz up Ackroyd's Scottish Bakery scones with sweet or savory ingredients on hand

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Scones are a simple bakery treat that are versatile and require few ingredients. 

At Ackroyd's Scottish Bakery, this family-run business has been making British treats in Redford Township for 70 years. This includes crumbly, buttermilk scones. 

Ackroyd's recipe calls for just seven ingredients. All are kitchen staples, except for maybe the buttermilk, but Megan Ackroyd tells us you can use half a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and then regular milk until it reaches half a cup. 

Ackroyd's Scottish Bakery sells scones, savory pies, tea cakes, fruit cake and more from the family-run shop in Redford.

"You’re basically just trying to get that slightly sour taste. It lends itself to a nice flavor in the finished product," said Ackroyd, who is a third-generation owner of the business. Her grandfather and great uncle started it in 1949. 

She said this recipe is a good one to make with school-age children, and you can throw a bit of science and math in during the process. Ackroyd did some baking with her son recently. 

"We went over fractions and the difference between teaspoons and tablespoons and using a third of a cup," she said, adding that she also threw in a few YouTube videos for kids about the science of baking. "There’s different ways you can incorporate more specific, subject-focused learning, aside from just the learning by doing."

Ackroyd says this scone recipe is good for beginners, and more advanced bakers can play around with more with ingredients to flavor the pastry. 

"Of course you can always add things into them," she said. Think cranberries and orange marmalade, dark chocolate and dried cherries, chopped spinach and feta cheese or bacon, cheddar and chives. 

"We recommend for people who aren’t avid bakers to just add in dry ingredients because once you add in some wet fruit that’s going to change the results of the dough," she said. "If you want to chop up strawberries and put them in there you’re going to have to cut back on some of the liquid, but we have to play around with that even at the bakery to get it quite right."

Scones require only seven simple ingredients and can be dressed up to be sweet or savory.

During the stay-at-home order Ackroyd's Bakery is open for curbside carryout orders, and they've always sent products by mail nationwide. To order clotted cream or jam to go with your scones, plus loads more products — Ackroyd says their savory meat pies are one of their best sellers — visit ackroydsbakery.com

Orders can be placed and paid for online, and then picked up by pulling up and popping your truck in the parking lot of the bakery, 25566 Five Mile in Redford. 

Ackroyd's Scottish Bakery Classic Scones

Yield: 8-9 scones 

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon of salt (or a good pinch)

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder 

¼ cup of sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced

1 medium/large egg

½ cup buttermilk (may be substituted, see tips below) 

Preparation: 

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees 

2. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar into a mixing bowl.  Add the butter and toss the pieces in the flour just to separate and coat them. Rub the butter into the flour using just the tips of your fingers, lifting your hands up to the rim of the bowl so the crumbs and flakes of the mixture fall through your fingers back into the bowl. This adds to the lightness of the scones. Continue until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Give the bowl a shake to check there are no lumps of butter visible.

3. Beat the egg with the buttermilk, just until thoroughly combined. Stir the egg mix into the crumbs using a round-bladed knife to make a fairly soft, but not wet or sticky, dough. If there are dry crumbs at the bottom of the bowl or the dough feels dry and is difficult to bring together, add a little more buttermilk (or milk) a teaspoon at a time. The dough should look a bit rough and shaggy. Don’t overwork it — a light touch is vital.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead just for a few seconds to bring the dough together so it looks slightly smoother. Lightly flour your fingers, then press and pat out the dough to about 1-inch thick. Dip the cutter in flour and stamp out rounds. Press the trimmings together and stamp out more rounds.

5. Set the rounds slightly apart on the prepared baking sheet. Dust lightly with flour, then bake in the heated oven for about 12 minutes until a good golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool slightly. Eat warm from the oven, or the next day, toasted and and spread with butter, or (in Scottish or United Kingdom style) warm with a bit of clotted cream and marmalade or jam.

Recipe by Ackroyd's Scottish Bakery

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens