I will brave Washington, DC traffic in rush hour to get a ginger scone and hot cup of chai from Teaism, one of my favorite DC cafes. I also love their cilantro scrambled eggs with naan and never leave without getting one of their salty oat cookies. But their chai and scones are worth the agony of sitting on the beltway.
Chai is an Indian spiced tea. It’s become quite popular and you can find it in many coffee shops and markets. While I’m not a picky eater in general, I am a picky about my chai and there are few places that meet my high standards. I don’t like it overly sweet and I don’t like it with a cloying vanilla flavor. I don’t want it to taste like a ginger snap. I like it complex, slightly sweet but with a nice bite. Teasim makes the perfectly balanced chai. Since I live six hours away, it was necessary for me to learn how to make my own perfect cup.
If you must be lazy, you may order both chai and ginger scone mix from Teaism’s website.
These are a snap to make. I altered this recipe from the blog, Orangette. I used honey and white whole-wheat flour and was very happy with the results. If you want to be decadent, use white flour and sugar.
Crystallized ginger can be found in better food markets. If you can’t find it, ask your grocer to pick it up for you or make your own.
These are best served warm with a pat of butter.
2 cups white whole-wheat flour (or whole-wheat pastry flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter. Using your fingers, blend the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. You may also use a pastry knife or a fork. The goal is to incorporate the butter into little pea-sized or smaller pieces. This will give you a flakey scone.
- While gently stirring the mixture, drizzle the honey over it. Add the ginger and stir to mix.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together. Save a tablespoon for the glaze and pour the rest into the flour mixture, stir gently to just combine. Using your hands, press and knead the dough into a rough ball. It will be a little dry. If it isn’t holding together, add a little water.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board, and knead it. Do not overwork the dough, a half dozen kneads should do it. Pat it into a round disc about 1 inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges.
- Place the wedges on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush them with the reserved milk/egg mixture.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Cool briefly on a rack, and serve.
Makes eight medium-size scones
Up next, spicy chia…