I am an early riser, and by early I mean about 4:30 in the morning. During the work week I rise at 4:30am, meditate for 30 minutes and then pop over to LEAP Yoga to open the studio and practice with my sunrise yogis. Then it is off to 9 Rounds Fitness for some serious punching and then home before 7:45am to shower and start my day.
Unfortunately my body hasn’t learned to distinguish between work days and weekends, so I’m up early then too. Of course, this gives me the perfect opportunity to entertain friends with brunch, and my convection steam oven (CSO) comes in handy.
One of the big benefits of owning a CSO is how well it bakes bread. When I was in culinary school, we had an oven where we could press a button and it would inject steam. The benefits of steam in the cooking process is that it creates a beautiful brown crust on the outside of the bread while keeping the inside moist, tender and soft – the perfect combination. Your CSO does the same thing if you use the Bake Steam setting.
I usually have a package of Sticky Fingers brand scone mix in my pantry. I buy them at Cost Plus World Market. This morning I only had the Trader Joe’s brand. I prefer the flavor options of Sticky Fingers, and it makes enough to fill the entire mini-scone pan. With the Trader Joe’s brand, you’ll come up two shy of a full pan. And speaking of the pan, I love this little pan because it makes perfectly portioned mini scones. (You don’t need a big scone when you have other dishes in your brunch.) What I don’t love about this pan is it is hard to get clean just because of the tiny compartments. But, hey, I deal with it.
You can either make the mix as directed on the box or add another ingredient to make it even more special. In the past, I’ve added chopped walnuts or diced dried mandarins to the chocolate chip scone mix. This morning, my youngest daughter requested them “simply chocolate.”
Prepare scone mix according to package directions. Add extra ingredients (1/8-1/4 cup), if desired. Place pan on the upper level so it is in the center of the oven. Bake on Bake Steam mode at the recommended temperature, and choose the longer baking time since the oven isn’t being preheated. I cooked these at 350 degrees for 17 minutes but could’ve probably only baked them for 16. They are brown and crispy on the outside, but so tender and moist on the inside.