I do love scones and an English Afternoon Tea in a tea shop wouldn’t be right without some scones with clotted cream and jam. But I recently encountered the concept of flaky scones, more akin to the American type. I watched some videos about making them, most notably one by Anna Olson.
I decided that that flakiness might be something I would like, so I decided to make some. One of the other reasons for making these is that they can have whatever a person has on hand such as nut, dried fruit, chocolate chips to enhance the scones.
For mine I decided on raisins and sultanas as I have lots of those and I just love them. But I almost chose chopped up glace cherries as they are very good in scones too.
These scones don’t take much effort and are well worth trying. Another advantage for me, and others who are in small or single person households, is that once the dough is made and cut out some can be frozen to be baked later, so you don’t end up with scones that will be past their best by the time you can eat them all. Normally a full batch would be shared with family, but in these times that is not easy with the recommendations to stay home.
From start to finish these scones take less than an hour and are simply delicious. For mine I simply spread some butter and jam on them. Of course, clotted cream would have been better, but I didn’t have any.
I baked 9 small ones and have frozen a further 8 un-baked. I can take a couple out of the freezer at any time and let them thaw for about 30 minutes and then bake them to enjoy fresh whenever I wish.
- 450g(3 cups) plain flour
- 50g(1/4 cup)sugar
- 175m( 3/4 cup minus 1 tspl cold milk
- 175(3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100g(2/3 cup) dried fruit, or nuts or whatever you wish to use(mine weighed 100g but other fillings may weigh differently, so 1/3 to 2/3 cup
- 1 medium egg(large in USA)
- 1 medium egg yolk (large in USA), save the egg white for brushing over the top
- zest from one lemon or orange(optional)
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F.
- Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper(or one if you are not baking the full batch today)
- Place the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and zest into a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the butter and cut it into the flour, with a pastry cutter, or two knives, or by rubbing between fingertips until the butter is reduced to small lumps.
- Rub the mixture between the palms of your hands so that any butter lumps are flattened into flakes.
- Add the eggs and milk and stir in with a knife, or fork, until all the liquid has been absorbed but the mixture is clumping but not fully combined.
- Tip the mixture onto the work surface, lightly floured.
- Press the mixture gently to pull together and use a scraper to fold the dough over onto itself, helping to create layers.
- When the dry ingredients have all been incorporated as you fold the dough over press the mixture flat into a rectangle add place the fruit on top(you can do this in two batches) spread the fruit over the surface and fold the dough over again, until the fruit is evenly mixed throughout.
- Divide the mixture into two, if you wish to freeze half for later.
- Flatten the dough until it is about 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick and cut out shapes of choice( I used a small cookie cutter of just under 2 inches).
- When cutting out press straight down and try to make clean cuts.
- Push the cut out onto the baking tray.
- Re-use the left over dough, gently pushing together and flattening.
- Brush the tops with a little of the egg white and then bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the scones have risen and are a light golden brown colour on the top.
- Place on a wire rack to cool completely.