Baked goods are delicious pieces of heaven. With the wide variety of textures and flavors to choose from the world’s cultures, it’s hard to find a favorite. One of my all-time favorites has to be the traditional British scone. They don’t have to be fancy (although it doesn’t hurt), but they have to be done right (they’d better be for the calories that they bring to the table).
The British have perfected these beautifully baked jewels. It makes me a little sad to think that many people will live their whole lives without ever tasting a real scone. Instead, they think that a good scone is one that can be found at the local gas station or in the grocery store. The last time my wife and I were in the UK, we were lucky enough to find Huffkins, a small, local chain of tea rooms in the Cotswolds. If you’re ever in the area, do yourself a favor and check them out. They are a fantastic place to enjoy delicious tea, outstanding baked treats (their scones are great), and a true taste of what it must be to be lucky enough to live in that beautiful part of the UK.
I’ve tried numerous times over the years to make scones, but I’ve never been very happy with the outcomes – too dry, not risen enough, etc. I’ve recently been on a mission to find a great scone recipe that I can make at home that will remind me of the scones that I enjoyed in the UK. Now, I think that I’ve finally found it (with some tweaks and changes made by me to make the recipe my own).
The original recipe that I’m working from was developed by Jane Hornby and can be found here. As I said before, I took her recipe and made some changes to make it work in my US kitchen and put my own spin on it. I hope you enjoy it, but just remember that there are two elements that are absolutely necessary when eating them: clotted cream and jam (flavor is your choice). My wife disagrees with me about the toppings – she feels that lemon curd is the best. I hope you enjoy them no matter what toppings you choose.
- 350 grams AP flour + additional for dusting
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt (I prefer sea salt)
- 6 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar (vanilla sugar is great for this, if you have it)
- 175 ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1 egg, beaten in a bowl
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F). Prepare a sheet pan by simply lining it with parchment paper.
- Measure out the flour, baking powder, and salt. Place them into a bowl and add the butter, making sure to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles crumbs (You may have a flake or two of butter, which is fine). Now, mix in the lemon zest and sugar.
- In a measuring cup, place the milk into a microwave and warm it for 30 seconds (just make sure it doesn’t get hot, only warm). After taking it out of the microwave, add in the lemon juice and vanilla. Stir this mixture and let it stand for about one minute.
- Place the prepared tray in the oven to heat up while you finish working.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture. This is when it might get a bit tricky. Mix the dough together with a fork until it’s combined. You want a dough that’s a bit on the wet side. If it’s too dry, add a bit more milk.
- On a marble or other work surface, sprinkle flour and them turn out the dough onto it. Sprinkling a little flour on top (as well as a tiny bit of water if it’s too dry) and work the dough only until it smooths out a bit. Remember, it should still be a bit tacky.
- Roll out the dough until it’s just over an inch thick. You can use a cutter, but I just use the ring from a pint jar (I have a ton of these things from all the canning we do), and now you want to cut the individual scones out, setting them aside until you’ve finished them all and reworking the dough pieces until you’ve used them all up. Beat the egg in a bowl and place it aside with a brush.
- Carefully pull out the hot pan from the oven and place it within your reach. Take the scones and place them on the pan and brush them with the beaten egg and put them into the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown and risen.
- When they have browned and risen, remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack for five minutes while you get the jam and clotted cream from the fridge.
- Enjoy these scones now, or freeze them and reheat to enjoy later.