Bake Homemade Herbed Breads: Maple Scones with Lemon Verbena and Candied Ginger

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Photo by Susan Belsinger

You can use any lemon herb that you like in these scones; orange mint also is delicious. Of course, using fresh herbs will give you the most wonderful bouquet in addition to flavor. However, you may use dried herbs if need be — reduce the amount of dried herbs to about 2 tablespoons, stir into the milk and let stand for about 10 to 15 minutes. The scones can be prepared with all unbleached flour, which will make them a bit lighter; the whole-wheat flour makes them a bit more toothsome. Makes about 1 dozen scones

• 2 cups unbleached white flour
• 1?2 cup whole-wheat flour
• 3?4 teaspoon salt
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• 3?4 cup milk
• 1?4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
• About 4 tablespoons freshly chopped lemon verbena
• 1?4 cup chopped candied ginger

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flours, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and blend thoroughly. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in candied ginger.

2. Stir milk, 1?4 cup of the syrup and lemon verbena together. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir to form a soft dough.

3. Turn the dough onto a floured pastry marble or board, knead gently with a few turns, until it just comes together. Roll the dough out into a circular shape, about 3?4–inch thick. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining tablespoon of maple syrup. Cut the dough into 8 or 12 wedges with a sharp knife or pizza cutter and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

4. Bake the scones for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a baking rack to cool slightly before serving. The scones are best served warm and right after baking. If you want to prepare them in advance, cool them completely and store them in an airtight container. Wrap them in foil and gently reheat in a 325-degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Susan Belsinger is a culinary herbalist who loves playing with food. She delights in kitchen alchemy — the blending of harmonious seasonal foods, herbs and spices. For more information on recipe conversions, visitwww.baking911/bread_machines.htm.

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