The Art of Scone Making
The humble scone. Oh why do you not rise enough? Why are you not quite sweet enough? Why are you so simply pleasurable but rather difficult to perfect?
I must admit that I am pretty handy in the kitchen. I enjoy cooking and getting to know ingredients and recipes. However, making scones has me rather stumped. I find that the basic recipe handed down from Mum just isn't enough and I must be missing something. The joy of the scone is watching the little dense flour mounds rise in the oven to fluffy goodness that pairs up with cream, jam and a pot of tea so delightfully.
After some hours researching and reading different recipes there seems to be a few very simple rules for perfecting the scone. (Thank you to taste.com.au for these handy tips)
- Don't over mix. You don't want your scone to be tough and heavy.
- Dip your pastry cutter into flour first and don't twist your cutter or your scones may not rise evenly.
- Place your scones on the tray so they are just touching. This will maintain straight sides and your scones will cook evenly.
Okay so now I am armed with some super top tips, a new recipe is needed. There are so many variations to the basic recipe.
Like the Buttermilk scone, (2 cups SR Flour, 1 tbs caster sugar, pinch of salt, 60g butter chilled and chopped, 3/4 buttermilk, extra buttermilk for brushing)
or Lemonade scones, (2 cups SR Flour, 1/4 cup caster sugar, 1/2 cup thick cream, 1/2 cup lemonade, 2 tbs milk)
and the options don't stop there. Have you thought about Pumpkin scones; Pistachio and lemon scones; blueberry and white chocolate scones or even Rockmelon and prosciutto and gorgonzola scones?? But what about the Basic Scone?
Well I have done the hard work for you. I have a great little recipe for the Classic Scone. Use these ingredients and follow these steps and you will be on your way to mastering this culinary feat in no time.
CLASSIC SCONES makes 12
You will need:
- 4 cups Self Raising flour
- 2 tbs icing sugar mixture
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup thickened cream
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- extra milk to brush the tops of your scones
- Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Position oven rack in the top half of oven.
- Sift flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Make a well in centre. Combine milk, cream and egg in a jug. Pour milk mixture into well. Using a flat-bladed knife, gently stir until dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until just smooth.
- Press dough into a 2cm-thick round. Using a 6cm round cutter, cut out scones. Press leftover dough together. Repeat to make 12 scones.
- Place scones, just touching, on prepared tray. Brush with milk. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden. Serve your perfect batch of golden brown scones with your choice of jams and cream.
Hmm, how delicious are the possibilities. It's time to don your apron and start getting your scones up to shape. Here's to the humble scone and happy cooking.