Made with a minimum of fuss, these scones have a lovely, light crumb and crisp golden tops. You might be surprised at how little butter l use; a good excuse to pile on more jam and cream.
There would be very few Aussies who don’t love a scone or two, piled high with jam and cream and eaten over a pot of hot tea. Scones look right at home at a fancy high tea as they do being eaten around a camp fire.
Scones – An Easy Recipe
My scones are plain, rustic and dead easy to make. There’s no need to cut perfect rounds; they’ll still have a beautifully light crumb, a slightly crunchy exterior AND just enough height.
I have been told that they are better than those made by an Aussie owned baking franchise. I don’t like to mention names but the word ‘delight’ comes to mind.
Here’s what makes this recipe so simple:
Ingredients: Only 4 ingredients: flour, butter, salt, milk/water are required.
Equipment: A bowl, a flat bladed knife and a baking tray is all the equipment you’ll need.
Butter: This recipe uses only 30 g / 1 oz of butter.The butter is also slightly softened to make it easier and quicker to incorporate into the flour.
The dough: The dough is cut into portions using a sharp knife ( no cutting into rounds).
Scone Making Tips
As simple as this recipe is, there are a few tips that are essential to bear in mind.
Incorporate butter evenly through the flour: Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it’s evenly distributed.
Don’t overwork the dough: For the scones to be light and airy, knead the dough with fingertips no more than 10 times.
Handle the dough gently: l know this seems like l’m repeating the same point, but overworking the dough will result in tough, leathery scones.
Use a flat bladed knife: Instead of mixing the ingredients together, use a flat bladed knife to cut through the ingredients to the point where they are just incorporated.
Cut the portions cleanly with a VERY sharp knife. Please don’t drag the knife through the dough as this will seal the edges, make rising more difficult.
Brush with milk: For a crunchy exterior, brush the scones with milk just before they go into the oven.
Call me a purist, but by far, l prefer the classic, plain scone topped with jam and cream.
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 12 – 15 mins
Servings: 9 portions
- 2 cups / 300 g self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 30 g / 1 oz unsalted butter, cubed and softened slightly
- 3/4 cup milk and water combined ( you won’t use it all) (note 1)
- jam of your choice
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 tsp icing / confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 220 C / 430 F.
- Line a medium sized tray with baking / parchment paper.
- Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl.
- Use your fingertips to rub in the butter into the flour until it is evenly incorporated.
- Add the liquid all at once. Use a flat-bladed knife to mix with a cutting action until the ingredients come together.
- Tip onto a lightly floured surface. Using lightly floured hands, knead gently and briefly with fingertips to bring the dough together (only knead about 10 times).
- Use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough. Press gently into a 15 cm / 6″ square, about 2.5 cm / 1 ” thick (note 2).
- Use a very sharp knife to cut the dough into 9 portions.
- Place portions on prepared tray, roughly 2 cm / 3/4″ apart. Brush lightly with milk.
- Place tray in middle rack of oven. Bake for 12 – 15 mins, until the scones are slightly golden.
- Serve warm, topped with jam and cream.
- Whip cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form.
- Use all of the milk , less 1 tsp. The dough may be too sticky if you use all of the liquid. Half fill a 3/4 measuring cup with water, then top with milk.
- I use a ruler to measure the dimensions of the dough. Alternatively, trace a 15 cm / 6 ” square on baking / parchment paper and use it as a guide to press out the dough. When flattening the dough into a square shape, work quickly to avoid over pressing.