My Mother’s Scones


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 15 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy when you know how

My memories of scones are always craggy squares just baked in time for lunch. They were never big. You need to be able to have a variety of toppings on multiple scones. Simple and perfectly executed. Sometimes they were flavoured. Cheese beloved by all. Date beloved by my father and I but detested by my mother. Today I felt like making something simple and adaptable. Now that I have mastered the scone and have learned a few tricks I should make them more often than I do. This recipe is the exact recipe that was copied down by me onto an index card when I left home. With a liiiitle bit more butter. Because reasons. Fluffy comforting perfection. For the Americans, these are closer to what you would consider a biscuit rather than a richer, more embellished scone. Scones get better with practice. But with only 4 ingredients and taking only a few minutes to prepare it’s no biggie. If you’re not 100% happy that’s what whipped cream is for… NO ONE will complain about getting warm fresh scones on a Sunday morning even if you wish they were taller or browner or whatever-er.

Heat the oven to 220C (425F). Put a completely clean cookie sheet in the oven to heat up too. In a large bowl mix the flour and baking powder together.

Trick numero uno: Use a box grater to shred your butter. If you find it getting a bit soft as you grate, pop the bowl into the freezer for a couple of minutes after you are finished shredding.

Using your fingertips and working as quickly as you can, rub the butter into the flour. You want to get it about 75% rubbed in. There should be no large shreds left but when you sift through the mixture it should have little dots of butter in it.

Make a well in the centre and add the milk.

Using your hands again, gently bring the dough together. Sort of scoop flour from the sides into the milk in the middle. When its in craggy lumps we are ready to tip it out onto the bench.

Tip numero dos: once you have tipped it out, press down on the it and kind of smush it together. Then roughly fold it in thirds like a letter.

Smush it down again and fold it into thirds again but from the crosswise direction. Do this two more times. You will notice the dough coming together into an even texture and you will notice a little resistance. This is good. You need to develop a little bit of gluten to help the scones rise but not too much. Using this folding method will also capture layers of slightly wetter and slightly drier dough which will fluff and expand when they’re baked.

Let the dough sit for a couple of minutes while you wash your hands and put the kettle on. Pat the dough down to a one inch high square. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 16 even squares. I made a half recipe since only 2 people live here. It’s not because I can’t count. Promise.

Look at all those trapped layers that will reach for the sky. The scones with one side that isn’t cut (edge ones) will tend to fan open a bit rather than rising straight up. If you really want them all to rise evenly then carefully trim the edges of the dough before cutting into pieces.

Get the hot cookie sheet out and put it on a rack so it doesn’t cool down too fast. Quickly transfer the cut scones to the hot tray. They will sizzle when you put them on. This is good. Put the tray back in the oven. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the scones are golden and well risen. When you pick one up it should feel very light.

Transfer the scones to a wire rack. Cover them with a tea towel to keep them warm. Bust one open. Watch the steam rise and enjoy the warm sense of satisfaction. look at those layers.

Add jam and cream and apply to face.

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My Mother's Scones


Prep Time : 15 mins | Cook Time : 15 mins | Total Time : 30 mins | Difficulty : Easy when you know how | Makes : 16 small scones

Craggy, fluffy, mile-high scones begging for toppings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (560 grams) all purpose flour
  • 8 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (115 grams) butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups milk

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Box grater
  • Cookie sheet

Directions:

Heat the oven to 220C (425F). Put a completely clean cookie sheet in the oven to heat up too. In a large bowl mix the flour and baking powder together.

Trick numero uno: Use a box grater to shred your butter. If you find it getting a bit soft as you grate, pop the bowl into the freezer for a couple of minutes after you are finished shredding.

Using your fingertips and working as quickly as you can, rub the butter into the flour. You want to get it about 75% rubbed in. There should be no large shreds left but when you sift through the mixture it should have little dots of butter in it.

Make a well in the centre and add the milk.

Using your hands again, gently bring the dough together. Sort of scoop flour from the sides into the milk in the middle. When its in craggy lumps we are ready to tip it out onto the bench.

Once you have tipped it out, press down on the it and kind of smush it together. Then roughly fold it in thirds like a letter.

Smush it down again and fold it into thirds again but from the crosswise direction. Do this two more times. You will notice the dough coming together into an even texture and you will notice a little resistance. This is good. You need to develop a little bit of gluten to help the scones rise but not too much. Using this folding method will also capture layers of slightly wetter and slightly drier dough which will fluff and expand when they’re baked.

Let the dough sit for a couple of minutes while you wash your hands and put the kettle on. Pat the dough down to a one inch high square. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 16 even squares. I made a half recipe since only 2 people live here. It’s not because I can’t count. Promise.

Look at all those trapped layers that will reach for the sky. The scones with one side that isn’t cut (edge ones) will tend to fan open a bit rather than rising straight up. If you really want them all to rise evenly then carefully trim the edges of the dough before cutting into pieces.

Get the hot cookie sheet out and put it on a rack so it doesn’t cool down too fast. Quickly transfer the cut scones to the hot tray. They will sizzle when you put them on. This is good. Put the tray back in the oven. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the scones are golden and well risen. When you pick one up it should feel very light.

Transfer the scones to a wire rack. Cover them with a tea towel to keep them warm. Bust one open. Watch the steam rise and enjoy the warm sense of satisfaction. look at those layers.

Add jam and cream and apply to face.

 – Just eat them. They can be frozen on the day they are made and reheated – 

Adapted from the collection of her ladyship Ma Winsome*.

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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17 thoughts on “My Mother’s Scones

  1. Just perfect. That trick with grating the butter is one of my favorite baking tricks. Perfect texture and flakes throughout every time. Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

    • You’re welcome Jess – yes I use it for pie crust as well – saves so much time and it’s great if you have warm hands like me and need to handle it less 🙂

    • Thanks! I’me experimenting with a bit of a different more simple style for my main shots – removing all the “styling” is quite freeing 🙂

    • It took me a while – I always used to add too little milk and end up working the dough too much – it was a proud day when I felt they would meet mums standard!

  2. Reporting in from Seattle at 6:30 Monday morning: Right, the “fold like an envelope” mental image REALLY helped. Really the secret to all those layers, which are seriously the most impressive I have ever seen on a scone, reminds me of mille feuille. Horrors, I discovered I ran out of milk after rubbing. Will it work with almond milk? (will find out in 2 minutes) Loved that you mentioned the sizzle so I was expecting it. I burnt myself (no sizzle luckily), but oh well. Question: when I transfer them onto the baking sheet, do I keep them together or space them apart?

    • Hey CY – sorry for the delay – time zones!! Space them apart for the best lift and more crispy edges – the milk shouldn’t be a major it will just mean a little less fat so they won’t keep as well 😀 I currently have two burns healing one from my sandwich press and the other from the oven rack – those racks are my nemesis…

  3. Pingback: The WB Larder: Strawberry + Basil Jam | The Winsome Baker

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