Scones

Scones

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Makes
12

The fragrance of freshly baked scones promises a treat that is never out of style. These most popular of quick breads can be mixed and baked in 15 minutes to enjoy with tea or coffee, or to provide hot savoury snacks or even the basis of a casual meal. Hot scones with cream and a good berry jam make that delight known the world over as Devonshire Tea. The original West England version uses clotted cream, but whipped cream does very well.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
450g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
60g butter
310ml milk or buttermilk

Method

  1. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in butter. Add nearly all the milk at once and mix in quickly with a knife. Add remaining milk only if necessary to mix to a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured board and knead by turning and pressing with heel of hand 3 or 4 times. Pat out to a round 2 cm thick and cut into 4 cm rounds with a floured pastry cutter.
  3. Place scones close together on a lightly greased baking tray. Brush tops with a little milk and bake in the top of a preheated very hot oven 230°C for 10–15 minutes or until well risen and golden.
  4. For soft scones, wrap in a dish towel as soon as they come from oven. For crusty scones, do not wrap; cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter or with jam and cream.

Variations

  • Fruit scones: Follow recipe for scones, but stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and 60 g sultanas or other dried fruit after rubbing in butter. A little grated orange or lemon zest, or mixed spice, may also be added.

    Cheese scones: Follow recipe for scones, but stir in 40 g grated well-flavoured cheese, ¼ teaspoon dry mustard and a good grinding of black pepper or a pinch of cayenne after rubbing in butter. Bake scones in a preheated hot oven (220°C) for about 10 minutes.

    Cheese-topped scone loaf: Prepare dough as for cheese scones, place on a lightly greased baking sheet, and shape into a round or rectangular loaf 2.5 cm thick. Mix together 45 g softened butter, a pinch of salt, 60 g grated cheese, and a pinch of cayenne, dry mustard and nutmeg. Spread mixture over loaf. Sprinkle with a little paprika and bake in a preheated hot oven (220°C) for 12–18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve cut in slices and buttered.

    Herb scones: Follow recipe for scones, but add 1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs, or 1 teaspoon dried herbs with 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon sugar after rubbing in butter. Serve with morning coffee or as a savoury alternative at tea time.

    Crusted orange scones: Follow recipe for scones, but add 1 tablespoon sugar after rubbing in butter, and use 60 ml orange juice and 190 ml milk for the liquid. Press a piece of loaf sugar dipped in orange juice on top of each scone before baking.

    Spiced fruit pinwheels: Prepare dough as for scones. Roll out to a rectangle 5 mm thick, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle with mixed dried fruit, roll up and cut into 2 cm-thick slices. Place, cut sides up, in a greased, shallow baking tin and bake in a preheated hot oven (220°C) for 10–12 minutes or until browned.
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