Step by step instructions and some lovely top tips to ensure the most delicious scones
Preheat your oven
Heat your oven to 200C or gas mark 7
Prepare and weigh your ingredients
- 225g self-raising flour
- 55g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 25g caster sugar
- 150ml buttermilk (or use a 50/50 mix of natural yoghurt & milk)
- 50g dried fruit such as raisins & sultanas
Rub the fat into the flour
- You can do this by hand but I put the flour and the butter into my food processor, whizz until it looks like very fine bread crumbs.
Add the sugar and buttermilk
- Add the sugar and give it another whizz to mix evenly.
- Add the buttermilk and whizz until just combined.
Add the fruit
- Tip your dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Add the dried fruits and knead lightly until combined.
Roll the dough
- Roll the dough (or simply pat it to flatten) to about 2.5cm deep
Cut out your scones
- Cut out your scones. I usually use a 6-7cm cutter (this will give you 6 scones) but this is personal preference. I also prefer a plain cutter as I find this gives a better rise. Press the cutter through the dough and give a slight turn to ensure an even cut.
- Lightly knead the trimmings of dough back together to cut another scone.
- Place the scones on a baking sheet (no need to grease) and brush the tops with a little milk.
- Bake for 12 - 15mins until well risen and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a couple of minutes and then wrap them in a clean tea towel until cool (this prevents them from drying out)
- Scones should be light and fluffy and traditionally are served with jam and cream (preferably clotted cream!)
Other sweet flavours
- You could make a plain sweet scone - just leave out the dried fruit.
- You can add grated lemon zest and/ or soak the dried fruit in freshly squeezed orange juice for an even fruitier version.
- You could replace the dried fruit with chopped glace cherries - wash and dry the cherries to remove excess syrup, then cut into small pieces and lightly coat in flour.
- You could add a little spice such as cinnamon, nutmeg or mixed spice.
or make a cheese scone
- The principles are exactly the same.
- Leave out the sugar and the dried fruit. Add 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder and 50g finely grated strong cheese such as gruyere, mature cheddar or mature red leicester. If liked, add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh chives.
- Brush the tops with beaten egg instead of milk and sprinkle with a little more cheese.