Monday, October 3, 2011

Now to create some controversy...and possibly delicious baking

A friend of mine requested the recipe that I use for scones. I make a much more buttery version than the type one usually finds in North American coffee shops. Having never had authentic British scones, I cannot speak for authenticity. All I know is that I like them better, and more butter never hurts when baking.

Also, my favorite accompaniment for these scones is clotted/devon cream. It's ridiculously hard to find in the US/Canada. I've only found it at specialty British shops and Whole Foods. But buy it, it's definitely worth it. If you don't have clotted cream, then butter (yes, more butter) goes quite well with scones. For additional deliciousness, toss on some jam for good measure. I particularly like marmalade, peach preserves, or strawberry jam.

A final note - there is some controversy about the proper pronunciation of scones. The way I say it is with a short o, sc-aw-ns. Others say it with a long o, sc-oh-ns. But Monty Python is on my side! Go to 00:53 and you'll hear Michael Palin say it my way!

Aaaaand without further ado, the recipe.

Scones (adapted from the Robin Hood Cookbook) 
2 cups flour (at least, you'll need more)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter/shortening at room temp (this is 5 and a bit tablespoons of butter for those using sticks)
1/4 cup currants (you can sub in raisins if you want)
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 425F. I always forget to do this, so I'm making this the first step. Actual prep time is really short, and if you forget you need to wait forever for your oven to get hot enough.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Cut in the butter. The recipe I have recommends a pastry blender, but I just use my hands. Just work the butter in until there are no large chunks of butter and the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Mix in the currants. Again, I just use my hands.

Make a well in the center. Add milk, 1 whole egg, and 1 egg yolk (reserve the white for the glaze). Stir with a fork and add more flour until a moist dough is formed. I suspect the original recipe used smaller eggs and thus less flour was needed to form the dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead roughly 20 times, working in more flour as you go.

Roll the dough out to approximately 1/2" thick. If you want a few wedge-shaped scones, make a large circle. For smaller, rectangular/square scones, try to make the dough uniformly flat while making it somewhat rectangular.

Now get the egg white you saved and beat in a spoonful of sugar. It will look a bit foamy. This is good. Get a pastry brush and brush it all over your dough. This gives your scone a nice glaze while it bakes.

Cut into either wedges or squares and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. They'll be slightly browned on top.


  1. Then of course if you're using my oven.... take a guess on the temp an god-speed -_-

  2. My oven is the same way! Though it is reliably unreliable at 100F over the dial.