Scones

Scones

By
From
How to Cook Cakes
Makes
6-8 scones
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

This technique uses the process of rubbing fat into flour (as for pastry), resulting in scones with a crumbly, moist texture. Best served freshly made, with West Country favourite clotted cream and jam.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
225g self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
1/2 teaspoon salt
60g butter
30g caster sugar
150ml milk
1 egg, (optional)

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
clotted cream or butter
strawberry jam

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220°C. Sift a little flour over a baking sheet.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl with the salt. Cut the butter into 1cm cubes and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre.
  3. Pour in the milk and stir briskly using a cutlery knife until the dough starts to come together. Gather the dough with your hands; it should be soft and spongy. Avoid over-working or kneading, which can make the scones tough. Add a little more milk if the dough is too dry, but not too much as a very wet dough results in heavy, dense scones.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and pat or roll out to no less than a 3cm thickness. Dip a 5–6cm pastry cutter in flour and cut out the scones, getting as many as possible out of the dough. To ensure an even rise, cut firmly and avoid twisting the cutter as you release the scone. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Push the cut dough back together (rather than squash it into a ball), and cut out more scones; these may not be quite as tender as the first rolled batch.
  6. For a glossy crust, beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork, sieve it, then use to brush the top of the scones. Alternatively, for a soft crust, sprinkle with flour. Bake in the top third of the oven for 15–18 minutes, or until the scones are well risen and golden brown on top.
  7. Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or just cooled, with clotted cream or butter and strawberry jam.

Variations

  • Date scones Add 100g coarsely chopped dates to the mixture before the milk.

    Cheese scones Reduce the butter by half and omit the sugar. Add 75g strongly flavoured grated cheese, such as Cheddar, Gruyère or Parmesan, along with a pinch each of English mustard powder and cayenne pepper, before the milk.
Tags:
cakes
baking
Leiths
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