Sunday, 23 May 2010

Scones


These are damned easy. Why the hell have I not made them before? Definitely give them a whirl if you haven't already.

To maximise your enjoyment, I have for you two tips:

1 When you're rolling out your scone dough, roll it out very thick - at least 2cm (I advise having a quick look at a ruler or something because 2cm is more than you think it is). This is because although scones rise a bit while they're cooking, they don't rise loads like, say, fairy cakes. So if you want a big, hearty-looking scone, right from the start they have to be pretty substantial.

2 Don't let them hang around. If you're having people over and you want to give them a cream tea, either make up the dough the night before or in the morning, store it in the fridge and then about an hour before you want to eat, roll out the dough, cut and bake.

So here we go:

for 12 small scones or 6 large

225g self-raising flour
large pinch salt
40g butter, cut into small pieces
1.5 tablespoons caster sugar
about 150ml milk

1 Preheat the oven to 220C. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Then rub the butter into the flour until the flour looks like breadcrumbs

2 Add the sugar and mix around a bit

3 Add the milk one sploosh at a time and mix round with a knife until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Smoosh this around a bit with your hands until it seems to be all of a piece.

4 Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to a thickness of AT LEAST 2cm. Cut out scone shapes with a scone-cutter. Funnily enough, scones sort of shrink about 0.5cm  in width as they are cooking, so go for a slightly larger pastry cutter than you actually want your scones to be.

5 Put the scones on a lightly greased baking tray and bake for between 12-16 minutes on a high shelf

You could turn these into fruit scones by adding some currants or mixed peel between stages 2 and 3.

If this all seems a bit boring and easy, Delia Smith has a slightly more advanced scone recipe, which utilises buttermilk.

7 comments:

  1. Fruit scones fresh from the oven, homemade strawberry jam, thick whipped cream - my childhood on a plate!

    ReplyDelete
  2. God, lucky old you - we never got stuff like that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There's a furious debate going on over at the Guardian Word of Mouth blog on the subject of which way round the cream and jam should go. Do you have a view on this?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Do you know what? I really don't. I am just so chuffed that these work, arguments about actual toppings are beyond me.

    I suppose if you held a gun to my head, I'd make an argument for cream and then jam, it being the general habit to butter one's toast and then apply jam. But I see immediately that there are flaws in that reasoning.

    GOOD LUCK with your book proposal. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. this is so funny Esther as people always complain to me that their scones don't rise and I tell them that mine never do either...scones don't rise, I advise them to cut them nearly as thick as the cutter, this always ensures a big hearty scone.... be warned however... last year at our local village show (yes I know I sound like an old lady) I submitted some large hearty scones, well and above larger and taller than any of the flat disasters that the other villagers entered... I managed to come in a measly 3rd place and the little old dear who judged the show made a comment about my scones...' taste delicious but scone should be smaller'... the cheek!!!! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hooray for the humble scone! Lovely blog and great recipes.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dominic that is scandalous. And corrupt!!! In my experience little old dears can be just as nasty and vindictive as anyone else, she probably just didn't want a MAN to win.

    ReplyDelete