What’s not to like about a scone? They are delicious and tender, plain with butter or dressed up any way you like. Their creation requires a little bit of technique, but it is quickly mastered and so very worth it. Try these plain ones, and once you are comfortable with making them, the sky is the limit as far as modifying their flavour goes. Another benefit: you can make your dough, cut your scones, place on a tray and freeze, then put them in a freezer bag once they are frozen. Pull them out and cook anytime — fresh scones! So. Follow along, and be gentle. The more gentle you are with your dough, the more tender your scones will be.
*for frozen scones, do not defrost, but increase cooking time as needed.
adapted from Breakfast Lunch Tea by Rose Bakery
makes 12-16 large scones or 24-32 mini scones
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheatgerm, whole wheat flour, cornmeal or oat bran (optional) (I used cornmeal)
3 tbsp baking powder
2 (heaping) tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cups milk (lactose free if necessary, soy milk, or regular
1 egg, beaten (to glaze the tops)
butter and jam, to serve
Preheat oven to 400F, and line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat.
In a large bowl, combine flour, wheatgerm (if using), baking powder, sugar and salt.
Toss in the butter pieces, toss in the flour, and then begin combining it with your fingers. Squeeze the butter, then drop it back in the flour, find another piece, squeeze it, and continue in this fashion until your butter/flour mixture looks like big breadcrumbs (see picture).
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in exactly 1 1/4 cups of milk (300 ml). Use a fork to mix it into the dry ingredients. Finish pulling your dough together using your hands, without overworking it, just until it comes together. If by chance it is too dry, add a little more milk, or if too sticky add more flour. It should not be sticky at all.
On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a circular shape, about 3 cms thick, then cut crosswise like a pie into triangles. Either make 2 large discs, or 4 smaller discs, depending on whether you want big scones or small scones. (I made small ones here).
Glaze the tops with beaten egg if desired (I didn’t), and bake 12-20 minutes until golden and risen. (these small ones took 14 minutes). Cool a little, then slice and slather with butter and jam. Enjoy with a coffee or tea and a good friend.