Scones are the most popular item on the tea room menu. They are an essential part of an English afternoon tea served with clotted cream and jam, but they can be so much more.
Not quite cake and not quite bread they are delicious warm from the oven for breakfast. One of my earliest childhood memories is of warm scones for breakfast in my grandmother’s kitchen. Now I am baking them for my grandchildren.
Try splitting and toasting them – perfect dripping with butter after a winter walk, especially if you have an old fashioned toasting fork and an open fire.
Easy scones recipe
Self Raising Flour (1Ib / 450 grams / 3 cups)
Softened Butter (4oz / 110 grams / 1/2 cup )
Castor Sugar (2oz / 55 grams / 1/4 cup)
Baking Powder (2 teaspoons)
Full Cream Milk (1/2 pint / 300mls / 1 1/3 cups)
Optional – Raisins or Sultanas (4oz / 110grams / approx 1 cup)
- Sieve the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl.
- Add butter, cut into small pieces and rub in until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the raisins or sultanas now if you’re using them.
- Mix to a soft dough with the milk, first with a round bladed knife and then bringing the dough together with your hands. You may need more milk than the 1/2 pint (300ml) as flour absorption can vary.
- Turn out on a floured working surface and knead briefly until the dough looks smooth.
- Pat out to approximately 1 1/2 inches/4cm thick. DO NOT ROLL OUT!
- Cut out your scones using a round metal cutter dipped in flour or shape your dough into a round and cut into 8 segments to form traingular scones. The number of scones you make using a cutter will depend on its size. A 2 1/2 inch (6 1/2 cm) cutter will make around 8 scones.
- Place scones on a floured baking tray and brush the tops with milk.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220C (fan assisted 200C, Gas Mark 7 until well risen and golden brown – around 20 minutes.
- Cool on a tray lined with a clean tea towel and cover with a second tea towel or serve straight from the oven with lashings of butter.
scone making tips
- For extra light and fluffy scones replace the milk in the recipe with sour milk, buttermilk or 1/2 yoghurt 1/2 milk.
- Never let a rolling pin near your scones. Gently pat out your dough to the required depth.
- Handle your dough as gently and as little as possible.
- Scone dough should be soft and sticky. It is better to have a dough that is too wet than too dry. If your dough is a little too wet your scones will spread a bit but they will still taste delicious. If your dough is too dry they will look okay but will be crumbly rather than soft inside.
- I think butter and full cream milk make the best scones but you can substitute non dairy alternatives if you need to for dietary reasons.
Scone Eating Tips
- Scones should be eaten on the day they are made, preferably within 8 hours of baking.
- Any leftovers can be frozen very successfully and defrosted in a microwave or wrapped in foil in a hot oven.
- Stale scones ie: day old scones, can be split and toasted. I like toasted scones as much as fresh ones.
- The traditional accompaniments to scones are clotted cream and jam, usually strawberry jam. They are equally good with butter and any good quality jam or other sweet spread. Toasted scones are particularly tasty with marmalade.