Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Perfect Scone Recipe...

How to bake perfect scones - a perfect scone recipe...



Scones appear to be a thing of great debate.

Plain, fruit or cheese?

Skɒn or  skn?

Plain or self raising?

Egg or no egg?

Jam, butter or cream?

For me, scones can be plain or cheese, but never fruit.

I pronounce the word skon and cringe at skoun.

I have a preference for plain flour with some complicated additions.

And either way, they must be eaten directly from the oven, slathered in butter and perhaps just a skerrick of jam...

When I was little, scones were apparently the first thing I learned to cook with my Mum. She remembers this still.

They were a staple in our home, for tea* on a Sunday. Straight from the oven, risen and billowing, fluted and crusty on top.

The recipe I always used growing up came from a battered and very much loved copy of the  Good Housekeeping's Picture Recipe Book circa 1953. (I presume this must have belonged to my Granny...either way, it was, and still is, my favourite cookery book.)

This book has been misplaced in recent years - so many house moves and renovations has seen it lost.

So my once fail proof scone recipe has needed to be revised.

I have a close friend whose father is Italian and mother is English, and she explained to me that her Mother's scones are better than anyone's for the use of fine Italian 00 pasta flour.

I have a number of notes and memories of the brilliant baking qualities of lard.

Another friend swears by buttermilk as the liquid.

And for the raising agent, to make those scones rise and billow so beautifully? I have experimented and truly believe that sifting through a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar to the flour is the absolute winner for light fluffy scones. (Self raising doesn't seem to get the lift?)

I could not remember whether my original recipe called for an egg or not. So, first thing this morning I rang my Mum and asked her - and quick as a flash she instinctively said "no, no egg" with such clear headed conviction that I left out the egg - which makes sense to me. An egg would make a scone perhaps a little more cake like?

So I give you my Perfect Scone Recipe. With thanks to friends and family for allowing me to pinch their tips and experiment on them. (Makes 12)



500g 00 plain flour. (This is fine Italian pasta flour. But a good quality plain white flour that has been triple sifted would do.)
1 heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 heaped teaspoons of cream of tartar
25g caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
65g butter, cubed
65g lard, cubed
275ml buttermilk* (if you have none, you can always just add a tablespoon of lemon juice normal milk and leave it out on the bench for a while...)

1. Preheat the oven to 210`c
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a big mixing bowl
3. Add the chilled and cubed butter and lard and rub in just using your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
4. Add the buttermilk and stir in with a palette knife to combine
5. Using your hands, bring the dough together to make a soft dough
6. Tip out onto a floured work surface and pat into a circle about 3cm high
7. Using a fluted cutter dipped in flour, cut the scones out and place wide apart on a floured baking sheet.
8. Bake for 12 minutes
9. Once you take them from the oven, place on a cooling rack.
10. Serve immediately with butter or jam or cream...

How about you? Skon or skoun?


post signature


* I ignored the concept of scones being a tea time treat. I baked a perfect batch of scones today right on midday. The fab five ate scones with butter, jam and cream for lunch. Is that very bad?!

53 comments:

  1. Scones intimidate me so much. I have attempted to bake everything BUT a scone so far in my life. I think it's time I tried them. I always hear people swear by the lemonade/cream recipe, but I'm nothing if not a traditionalist! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a friend who makes the lemonade/cream version - I tired that method once - certainly easy - but way too sweet for my liking. But it might be worth trying mineral water, a small amount of sugar, and cream perhaps?

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  2. Love love love the hot scones...date is my favourite. Scones are most definitely an adequate food for a cold, wintery Sunday lunch...enjoy!!

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    Replies
    1. I agree - they loved them and so did I...enough time in the summer for a salad!

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    2. Very useful information. I was very pleased. Thanks

      <

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  3. When it comes to scones I can eat even yucky ones, because it is the jam and cream I love!

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  4. I used to make these all the time before I had kids but NOT ONCE since. Thank you for the reminder, will try and make them sometime this week. I reckon the kids will go mental over them. And I agree, any other pronunciation but "soon" would be just wrong! Mel xx

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  5. Scones with jam and cream is one of the best things! I haven't made scones for ages. I'm going to try your recipe.

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  6. I used to make them as a child too, and even have a copy of the same Be-Ro book that Mum sent over for me, must re-visit. I do love a scone and haven't made them for a long time. Often but them for my hubby but my faves are eaten when out at a decadent afternoon tea... it's been a while.

    Something to teach the kids!

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  7. ...this is just too spooky, because yesterday after a "wet" outing I came home and decided to whip up a batch of scones...by the time we all sat down to enjoy them with a freshly brewed pot of tea, it was early evening, so my family ate scones for dinner...when I read your post I nearly fell over backwards.

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  8. This is too weird. I had a discussion about scones with my colleagues today. I had nothing to offer as mine turn out like bricks (I thought you were supposed to add lemonade or something?)! Someone else was triple siting flour and using bicarb and cream of tartar. Maybe she read your blog??? Is Al the contributor of the buttermilk? She is all about that with her baking too. x

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  9. For me it's skoun and you're right, a great batch like those shouldn't be restricted only for tea time!

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  10. YUM! Yum ..... yum .....yum ..... yum ... yum ....

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  11. looks perfect too!! and with jam...it is perfect!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

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  12. I make Lemonade Scones - no rubbing. I should make the proper ones, though!!! x

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  13. shhhhh... don't tell but my best ever scones time from a packet. The CWA know their stuff.
    Perfect scones every time.

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  14. wow scones are so tempting for kids...and by following this great recipe of making scones the food involves not only taste but also great healthiness...now my issue is resolved after finding this helpful blog thanks...

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  16. Scones seems to be delicious by reading over here. Never tasted them anyway, looks it will definitely add to my weight!

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  17. I think any time of day is scone time, especally with a large pot of tea.

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  19. Wow excellent recipe to try

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  21. The name scone is very new to me ! But the sounds looks it is a superb yummy recipe !!!

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