Some things are synonymous with winter.
Pumpkin - I think - is one of those things. Oven-roasted with cumin as a side dish, slowly simmered into a hearty soup or, as I've done here, steamed and mashed before being turned into a delicious batch of wholemeal pumpkin scones. Scones, or really just carbs in general, are a sure fire way to lift my spirits on these bitterly cold winter days, even more so when flavoured with pumpkin and caraway seeds. Even more so when they're wholemeal, so I know that they're good for me. Winning!
As anyone following JL Fit Nutrition on Facebook would have seen, this was not my first attempt at these babies. The first batch involved a brain fart on my part and as it turns out it is important to use self-raising flour rather than plain, so what should have been a delightful batch of light, fluffy scones more closely resembled a savoury rock cake of death. Baking fail. However, second time around and armed with the correct flour they worked out beautifully - so good that there is an embarrassingly small number of scones left for hubby. It's cool, I'll just tell him I made a half-batch...
When I say a well floured bench top I mean well floured - use more than you think you'll need as the dough is very soft, but that's what makes a lovely light scone. Overworking the dough is death to scones, so knead only just as much as you need to bring the dough together and then only just enough to bring all the scraps together after the first round of cutting. It also helps immensely to dip your scone cutter in flour between cuts - this will stop the dough sticking.
The caraway seeds are optional, but add a lovely depth of flavour. If you don't have caraway (and I know not many people do) then use cumin seeds - they would make these things THE BOMB. In fact I think I'll do that next time. Brushing the tops with buttermilk is not optional though - 1) it helps the seeds to stick to the scones and 2) it helps give the scones a lovely golden crust. Then it's just 15 minutes in the oven and you're good to go. And seriously people - 5 ingredients and they're on the table in 20 minutes. The only hard part is deciding what to put on them. Top tip: avocado and vegemite with chili flakes is ALWAYS a good idea.
Wholemeal Pumpkin Scones
2 & 1/2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
50g cold butter, cut into 1cm cubes
375g mashed pumpkin
1/4 cup buttermilk, plus extra for brushing
Caraway seeds, for sprinkling
1) Preheat oven to 225 degrees Celsius. Line a tray with baking paper.
2) Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3) Add pumpkin and buttermilk. Use a flat-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until evenly incorporated and the mixture just starts to hold together.
4) Turn the dough onto a well floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Use your hands to press out the dough until about 2cm thick.
5) Use a round 5.5cm pastry cutter to cut 12 discs from the dough and place about 1cm apart on the prepared tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
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