A recipe and tutorial for making English scones. Simple and quick to throw together, they are soft, tender and delicious. Pile high with cream and other tasty treats!
A fresh, warm, tender English scone is one of the greatest foods on earth.
Not least when piled with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
And a food processor makes throwing them together a job of mere minutes.
Instead of cutting the butter into the flour so it leaves flaking chunks in the dough, in this recipe the butter is fully blended in, which protects the gluten in the flour from the milk when its added.
This means that less gluten is activated by the liquid, resulting in scones that are tender, not chewy; crumbly, not rubbery. Dainty and delicate.
You can also afford to give the dough a little knead before rolling it out (which is very satisfying), without too much risk of making the scones rubbery.
So weighing, blending, mixing, kneading and rolling, all done in about 20 minutes. Quicker than it takes to walk to the shop and get a packet of crap, dry, processes scones.
It's important that you press the cutter straight down and don't twist it when you cut out the round, as this seals the edges of the scone and interferes with the rise. It's also essential to dip the cutter in some flour each time you cut, to stop the edges sticking and tearing.
As glorious as the traditional additions of jam and clotted cream are, I decided to mess with them. I recently had a lovely afternoon tea at Betty's in Harrogate, and I discovered how excellent the addition of lavender is to a scone. So the dough for today's scones is flecked with culinary lavender.
You can decorate your scones with all manner of delights, don't feel restrained to a mere brush of egg wash. I went for three combinations – both sweet and savoury variations of this English classic - Salted caramel scones with strawberries and cream, Raspberry scones with clotted cream and Lavender scones with Yorkshire cheese.
What do you most like to eat on a scone?
- 210 g plain flour
- 30 g sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 60 g butter softened
- 120 g milk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp lavender
- things to sprinkle on top
- Preheat the oven to 240c.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lavender to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until fully blended into the flour - it should look like very fine crumbs.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. Set aside a couple of tablespoons for the glaze.
- Tip the flour and butter crumbs into a large bowl and add the rest of the milk and egg mixture. Fold everything together with a spatula.
- Tip the shaggy dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and free of cracks, about 15-20 kneads.
- Press the dough into a disk and roll out about 3cm thick.
- Fill a small bowl with flour and dip the cutter into it before stamping out the rounds. Don't twist the cutter as you press it down - this will seal the edges and stop the scones from rising properly.
- Brush the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle over any decoration.
- Reduce oven to 220c and bake the scones until risen and golden brown, rotating once so they cook evenly - about 10 minutes.
- After removing from the oven, cool on a wire rack.
- Scones are very much best when eaten freshly baked. If you want to store them longer, the freezer is the best place.