The Scone of Stone was stolen! It was stolen from the most unexpected and the best guarded place, The Dwarf Bread Museum. Of course, dwarf breads were substantially different from our breads; that is, different in substance. In fact, they included gravel as one of the main ingredients. According to the late Sir Terry Pratchett, whose whimsical imagination gave birth to Discworld and everything in it, “they were probably as edible now as they were on the day they were baked. “Forged” was a better term. Dwarf bread was made as a meal of last resort and also as a weapon and a currency” (The Fifth Elephant).
The new Low King of dwarfs was about to be crowned, but the Scone of Stone, a crucial element of coronation procedure, went missing. To explain the vital role of it, here is a dialogue between the valiant Commander of Watch Vimes, whose responsibility it is to find it, and a distinguished vampire-on-the-wagon Lady Margolotta who speaks with a heavy Transylvanian accent:
We’ll have to wait until they bake another one?” said Vimes.
“No. There will be no more Low Kings,” said Lady Margolotta. “Legitimacy, you see. The Scone represents continuity all the vay to B’hrian Bloodaxe. They say he sat on it vhile it vas still soft and left his impression, as it vere.”
“You mean kingship has passed from bu—backside to backside?”
“Humans believe in crowns, don’t they?”
“Yes, but at least they’re at the other end!”
“Thrones, then.” Lady Margolotta sighed. “People set such store by strange things. Crowns. Relics. Garlic…
Now that you had your little chuckle, the most incredible part of this fantasy is that it is based on reality: a unique heist, or, as it was called, “a heist 600 years in the making.”
This film is based on real events. Stone of Destiny, AKA Stone of Scone, over which Scottish Kings were traditionally crowned at Scone in Perthshire, was captured by King Edward I of England in 1296 to be installed under the British throne at Westminster Abbey in London. Subsequent British monarchs, including the current Queen Elizabeth II, have been crowned on it. However, In 1950, four Scottish students managed to steal it from Westminster Abbey and return it to Scotland. One of them, Ian Hamilton, tells this amazing story.
The students were never prosecuted, but “the Stone of Scone was returned to London, where it remained until 1996, when it was moved to Edinburgh Castle “on loan” with the understanding that it would be brought back to Westminster Abbey for the next Coronation” (Wikipedia).
With all due respect to dear friends across the pond, I have tasted scones several times and every time was reminded of gravel as an essential ingredient. Not my thing, I thought, until a wonderful blogger and custodian of two gorgeous kitty boys weggieboy AKA Doug Thomas (who has sadly lost one of the adorable kitty brothers not long ago) mentioned that one of my posts had prompted him to make scones, and Boy! Were they yummy! Obviously, I saw it as a challenge: can I make scones that will not belong in the Dwarf Bread Museum?
I have studied a bunch of various recipes, and finally came up with this. I whisked spelt flour with brown sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt. For our purposes, I consider spelt gluten free, but please consult your physician. I am sure gluten free flour of your choice could be used instead. Meanwhile, I had some Smart Balance in the freezer, getting ready.
Smart Balance, or any other non-dairy butter substitute, is softer than butter, so it should be frozen solid in order to be diced. You have to dice it very quickly as it softens literally under your fingers. Add it to the flour mixture but do not overwork it.
I know that classic scones have currants in them, but I had these huge juicy blueberries, so I mixed them in. Better than gravel!
Finally, whisk some aquafaba (or an egg, if you want), together with non-dairy prostokvasha, or clabbered milk (for recipe, please click here), or any store-bought non-dairy kefir of yogurt. Add some vanilla extract and gradually incorporate it into the flour mixture. Turn it onto floured work surface and gently kneed.
The dough will be crumbly, but don’t worry, just don’t overdo it. Flatten it into thick rounds and cut into wedges.
Why scones must be this shape, I have no idea, unless it’s another one of those dwarf traditions that “people set store by.” Arrange your wedges on a lightly misted with oil baking sheet, spray them with oil (or use egg wash), and sprinkle with a mix of cocoa powder and xylitol or powdered sugar. Send it to the oven for a while and read some Terry Pratchett. Have a good laugh.
The more chocolate, the better! A splash of chocolate syrup never hurt anybody. As good as my scones look, they will not be accepted into the Dwarf Bread Museum for two reasons: first of all, they came out moist and delicious, and secondly, they disappeared faster that you can say CORONATION.
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup frozen Smart Balance, diced
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup non-dairy prostokvasha (clabbered milk), kefir, or yogurt
- 3/4 cup aquafaba or 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with xylitol or powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly mist baking sheet with oil.
- Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add diced Smart Balance, mix lightly. Add blueberries.
- Whisk together prostokvasha, aquafaba, and vanilla extract. Gently incorporate into flour mixture, turn out dough onto floured work surface, lightly knead.
- Form thick rounds (about 1 inch or 2.5 cm), cut into wedges. Transfer to baking sheet. Mist with oil or paint with egg wash, sprinkle with mix of cocoa powder and powdered sugar or xylitol.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on rack.