There are some things that go on in this kitchen that make me wonder sometimes – but I have a weak spot for fermentation projects, though I don’t make wine or beer. Blame the sourdough, it started it all off, things bubbling in jars here and there. It has opened my eyes though to the role of bacteria and fungi in our foods and it’s always nice to learn new stuff and experiment a little.
On the worktop are some jars with summer kombucha brewing merrily away. We were given the kombucha culture by a friend a while ago and we have swapped its tea over from black to old white teas that needed using up. My particular favourite is a tea called white peony which indeed smells of peonies. You can use any tea you want I suspect. The Kombucha culture is apparently exactly the same culture that we used last year to make apple cider vinegar. What a small world!
If you are the creative home sewing type, you can always brew the kombucha in a bath tub, save and dry the culture which turns into a leather like material and cut and sew it into a completely home grown outfit.
If you need convincing check out this great TED talk from Suzanna Lee on the subject of Growing your Own Clothes.
Looking at the jars with their cultures floating on the top, one could be forgiven for saying, “No! Surely not. That should just be chucked down the loo.” Well, it makes a lovely naturally fermented drink that hasn’t killed either of us, nor given us upset tummies and hey what else can I say; we like it.
So my first new batch of scones for the Scone Days of August (aka Scone Week, Scone Fortnight, losing the plot here slightly) were a batch made using Celia’s Lemonade Scone recipe but using Kombucha and a little soda water to replace the Lemonade. For those of you who don’t know it, it is an incredibly simple mix of double cream, fizzy drink and selfraising flour.
My Trial Version has :
- 450 g self raising flour
- a pinch of salt
- ¾ of a tub of 300 ml size double cream
- 200 ml white tea Kombucha
- 50 ml of soda water
- Small handful of raisins soaked in Kombucha for an hour and then drained and patted dry
I mixed everything bar the raisins lightly together, more brought together than mixed, sprinkled the raisins on top and folded them in. Then I tipped out the sticky mix onto a floured board, patted down into an even layer, cut four round scones, repatted dough together, cut the second layer into four. This made eight rather large scones, which Brian brushed overenthusiastically with milk.
Baked in a pre-heated oven at 200º C Conventional Oven for around 25 minutes until they went golden on the top and the Scone Expert pronounced them done.
Here are the results: They didn’t rise as high as the scones I usually make, but they were deliciously soft and very very unsweet. Now if you like your scones sweet then don’t go down this route. On the other hand, if you like bread and cakes with a very soft mouth feel, then experiment with fizzy drinks that you like the taste of and see what you come up with. I was thinking it might work well with elderflower fizz or something like that too.
They have all been eaten so I guess that is a good sign. Hopefully there will be some more, slightly less esoteric ones coming up soon. If you are still dithering and looking for a reliable scone recipe – and want a classical English style afternoon tea scone I recommend that you try a variation on the Rachel Allen recipe, published here on the net which are the ones I usually make. They rise high and look very traditional, pics here on my first scone week post a couple of years ago.
Brian reckons this variation with the ricotta are the best I have ever made, though he is always game to try something new. Heidi has made some wonderful scutterbotch scones here and when I tasted my very low sugar ones above I couldn’t help but think I ought to try hers next…