A while back, Happy Housewife inspired me to make Bara Brith, a Welsh tea cake in which the fruit is soaked in tea before being mixed into the batter. It was delicious! That recipe, and the dietary requirements of a friend who is allergic to milk, inspired me to make these scones.
Often, when I'm looking for a starting point for making breads or quick breads, I look to my dog-eared copy of the Sunset Cook Book of Breads. I love that book. I baked my first-ever loaf of bread from one of its recipes, and have tested most of the rest of them in the decades since. They're all good, so it was to my Sunset book that I looked when making this new scone.
Tea is acidic so I reasoned that it would work well as a substitute for buttermilk. I like the spices in chai tea, especially when paired with fruit, so I decided to use chai tea and raisins for these scones. I substituted a dairy-free soy based margarine for the butter called for in the recipe.
The scones turned out so well that I ended up making a second batch later in the week, at my husband's request. I used butter in the second batch - the batch I used for my photos here.
To make Chai Tea and Raisin Scones, you'll need:
- About 2 cups of very strong Chai tea, steeped in boiling water, without milk (I used 3 tea bags in 2 cups of water and steeped it until it was very strong)
- 1 cup raisins
- 3 cups unsifted all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup very cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg white beaten with a little cold water just until frothy or a little milk, for brushing on top of the scones
- sugar for sprinkling on top of the scones (I used coarse raw sugar crystals but regular granulated sugar will work fine too.)
Begin by steeping your tea, and measuring your raisins out into a heat proof container.
Once the tea has steeped pour it over the raisins, to cover. Let the raisins soak until the they've cooled to room temperature.
When the raisins have cooled, drain them through a sieve, reserving the drained tea for use in your scones.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the butter and work it into the flour by rubbing it between your fingers so that it breaks into flat pieces about the size and shape of cornflakes.
Add in the drained raisins and toss them through the flour mixture so that they're lightly coated.
Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture.
Measure 1 cup of the cooled tea and pour it into the well.
Mix the tea through the flour mixture, first with a spoon and then with your hands, kneading the dough until it holds together.
Pat or roll the dough into a square about an inch thick. Cut it into individual scones and transfer the scones to a parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the scones with either beaten egg white or milk and then sprinkle them with sugar. Be generous. The sugar will add a nice crunchy texture to the top of the scones.
Bake the scones at 400F until cooked through and lightly browned. This took 18 minutes in my oven.
Serve the scones while they're still hot, with butter.
Leftovers can be cooled and stored in an airtight container but should be reheated before serving.
This recipe is adapted from the Buttermilk Scone recipe on page 89 of the Sunset Cook Book of Breads, published Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA, 1981
This recipe is linked to Gallery of Favorites hosted by Premeditated Leftovers and The 21st Century Housewife, FoodTastic Friday hosted by Not Your Ordinary Recipes, The Pity Party hosted by Thirty Hand Made Days, to Foodie Friends Friday hosted by Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom, Robyn's View, Angie at A lil Country Sugar, Michelle at From Calculus to Cupcakes, Marlys at This and That, Lois at Walking on Sunshine, Lindsey at Family Food Finds, Cindy at Cindys Recipes and Writings, Keira at Luscious Delights, Tami at Food Forays, R Dawn, Amber, Erika, and Sarah at Everything in the Kitchen Sink, to Saturday Link and Greet at Country Momma Cooks, to Strut Your Stuff Saturday hosted by Six Sister's Stuff, to Weekend Potluck hosted by Sunflower Supper Club, to Think Pink Sunday hosted by Flamingo Toes, to Scrumptious Sunday hosted by Addicted to Recipes, to Makin' You Crave Monday hosted by Mrs. Happy Homemaker, to Craft-O-Maniac Monday hosted by Craft-O-Maniac, to Busy Monday hosted by A Pinch of Joy, to Manic Monday hosted by Bobbi's Cozy Kitchen, to Mix it Up Monday hosted by Flour Me With Love, to Delicious Dish Tuesday hosted by Mama Chocolate, Full Time Mama, and Coping with Frugality, to the Tuesday To Do Party hosted by The Blackberry Vine, to Tip Me Tuesday hosted by Tip Junkie, to Watcha Whipped Up Wednesday hosted by DJ's Sugar Shack, to Cast Party Wednesday hosted by Lady Behind The Curtain, to Look What I Made hosted by Creations by Kara, to Wonderful Wednesday hosted by Printabelle, to Thursday's Treasures hosted by Recipes for My Boys, to Tastetastic Thursday hosted by A Little Nosh, and to Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage.