Scones are such a classic tea time treat. If you’re like me, you’re eating them for breakfast too! This is not health food people, so look away if you don’t want to be tempted.
When it comes to classic treats like this, there’s a million recipes out there, each with their own take. Honestly, I’m not a fan of a puffy cakey scone. To me a scone needs to be buttery and crumbly and full of fruit. That’s exactly what these scones are. The thing about this recipe is that you actually have to as little as possible. Overworking this dough will lead to a cakey scone. If that’s what you like, then go for you life, but if you want those flaky crumbly scones, don’t overwork this dough. You want to see flakes of butter throughout the dough. These flakes of butter are GOLD! When you bake the scones the butter melts and leaves a beautiful layer, much like puff pastry. I’m telling you, you’ll never eat a cakey scone after you try these!
Scones are the perfect recipe to customize. If you don’t like raisins, add a different dried fruit. I would stay away from fresh fruit as it often makes the dough too wet. If you don’t like fruit, you can leave it out all together. You can add some spice into the flour if you prefer. Even just a touch of vanilla will change the flavour profile. You can get creative with the condiments too! I like to serve mine with a few different jams, sometimes lemon curd. You can pretty much do whatever you fancy. Better get on it then!
The Best Scones
Makes 16 - 20 scones
150g dried fruit, eg raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries. (I use a mix of whatever I have on hand)
150g cold butter, cubed
500g standard flour , plus a little extra for dusting
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp caster sugar
2 large eggs
4 Tbs milk , plus a little extra for brushing
Put your dried fruit into a bowl and pour over just enough hot water. Set aside.
Now we make the dough. Put your butter, flour, baking powder, sugar and a good pinch of salt into a mixing bowl. Using your thumbs and forefingers, break up the butter and rub it into the flour so you get little cornflake-sized pieces. We are not looking for a breadcrumb consistency here. We want to see flakes of butter in the mixture. This should not take you long. If you’re spending too much time here, you’ve gone too far.
Make a well in the middle of the mixture, add the eggs and milk, and stir it up with a spatula then bring together with your hands. The dough will be crumbly. don’t worry, it’s meant to be this way.
Drain your soaked fruit and add that to the mixture. Bring the dough together once again. You should have a mass that is just holding together. If your dough is really smooth and elastic, you’ve worked it too much! At this point you want to cover the bowl with clingfilm and pop it into the fridge for 15 minutes.
While the dough is resting, preheat your oven to 200°C. Line two baking sheets with baking paper and set aside.
Once your 15 minutes are up, take your bowl out of the fridge. Pop your dough onto a breadboard or marble surface. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it’s about 2 to 3cm thick. Cut the dough into your desired shape. Use a round cookie cutter if you have one, or simply cut dough into squares. Place your dough circles/squares upside down on a baking sheet – they will rise better that way. Re-roll any offcuts to use up the dough.
Brush the top of each scone with milk, melted butter, olive oil or your standard egg wash. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until risen and golden. At that point, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool down a little.
Serve with jam, cream and berries if they are in season.
If 16 scones are too much for you, don’t bake all of them. After cutting them out, freeze the extra scones for another day. You can bake them from frozen at 180°C for 25 minutes, or until golden and lovely.