Scones

by leah

I’ve been threatening to make scones for a long time. A proper English scone is a thing of beauty. I guarantee that any scone available in the USA is not a proper English scone. Some come close, but I’ve never had a decent one Particularly due to the odd triangular shape that they come in.

Scones are not supposed to be sweet or flavoured. They are a light, cakey, bready thing whose sole purpose is a cream and jam delivery vehicle. The key with scones is in the lightness and the texture, not the taste. If people wanted to eat scones for the flavour, you would see people chomping into plain scones. Haven’t seen that ever have you?

Makes 12 scones

  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2.5 cups flour (you can substitute self raising flour for the flour and baking powder)
  • 60g butter, cold
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cold water (substitute soda water if you have it)
  • 1 Tablespoon fine white sugar (I only had raw sugar and you can tell by the flecks in the final scone)

Pre heat your oven to 425 degrees F or 225 degrees C. The oven must be searing hot to make scones – the hotter it is, the puffier they will be.

Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large basin, stir in the sugar.

Grate the cold butter into the flour.

Rub the butter in with your fingertips until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Keep your movements light and rub the butter in from up high so that you incorporate as much air into the mix as possible.

Add the milk and cut it in with a knife. Don’t use a spoon if you can avoid it. Add half the water and mix with your hands until you have a shaggy mess that is slowly starting to form a uniform mass, add more water if it’s not holding together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until it is just smooth, no more than a minute.

Flatten into a disc that is 2cm or 3/4 inch thick and cut rounds with a sharp cookie cutter. This step is important as the sharp edge slices the dough and keeps the layers in place – a blunt cutter (like a cup) will seal the edges down and make the scones rise unevenly.

Arrange the scones in rows, with the edges touching, on a oiled baking tray. Brush the tops with milk and bake for 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden on the top.

Serve with cream that has been whipped gently and some home made jam. Don’t forget a nice strong cup of tea! Remember to stick your pinky out when you sip, it’s only proper.