Coriander-Orange Scones

by Jerry Traunfeld

This recipe comes to TableFare from Chef Jerry Traunfeld as part of his contribution to Spice Inspirations.

These scones are as quick and easy to make as any biscuit or muffin and are just the thing for a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast or brunch. If you didn't know they were made with coriander, you probably wouldn't guess it was one of the ingredients. The flavor of the seeds blends in mysteriously, making the scones seem extra buttery and slightly toasty. Always buy coriander seeds whole and grind them shortly before you use them in a spice mill or blender.

Makes 12 scones

2 cups all-purpose (spoon and level; 9 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground dried coriander seeds, not toasted
5 tablespoons sugar, plus 2 teaspoons for the topping
Finely chopped zest of 1 orange
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into ½-inch cubes
¾ cup dried currants or raisins
3/4  cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
Egg wash made with 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon milk

1. Dough. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the coriander, 5 tablespoons sugar, and the orange zest. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender unit the largest pieces are smaller than a pea (or pulse in the mixture in a food processor). Stir in the currants, then add the milk and stir just until it forms a firm dough.

2. Shaping. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Dust with a little flour and pat each piece into a circle 6 inches in diameter and ¾ inch thick. Cut each circle into 6 wedges with a large chef's knife. Transfer the scones to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them 1 inch apart.

3. Glazing and baking. Brush the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle them with the additional sugar. Bake until they are a deep golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Lift one to check that the underside is well browned before you remove them from the oven. Transfer to a cooling rack. The scones are best while still warm. To reheat the scones, put them on a baking sheet in a 250 degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from the book The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld. Copyright © 2000 by Jerry Traunfeld. Published by Scribner. New York, NY.