Inspired by our compliance with social distancing, one of the English faculty members suggested we all make the same recipe together this weekend - easy scones, allegedy from Mary Berry but posted on the Easy Online Baking Lessons website
. So that means they are English style. I paid attention to the tips in the recipe because there are things that can make a scone not rise very high. I couldn't find a medium biscuit cutter, so I used a wine glass.
The one step of the recipe I disobeyed was when it said to let the butter come to room temperature? Never in my life have I heard that advice for scones or biscuits, it was always the colder the better. So I used butter straight from the fridge. I used oat milk because that was the only kind I had on hand. I also made a half recipe because let's be honest, I would be the only one in my house eating any.
I did get quite a rise on the scones, and pictured is my shining star. The instructions say to only glaze the very top, making sure it does not drip on the sides, and I definitely had one wonky scone where the glaze had dripped. Interesting!
450g Self-raising Flour OR (3 & 2/3 cups AP/Plain Flour plus 5 + 1/2 (level) tsp Baking powder + scant 1 tsp salt)
2 tsp Baking Powder
50g Castor Sugar (level ¼ cup*)
75g Butter, cubed & at room temp (level 2/3 stick or 1/3 cup)
225ml Milk (up to 1 cup)
1. Weigh out the butter whilst cubing it and leave out to come to room temperature.
2. Lightly oil or grease the baking tray(s) and place baking/parchment paper on top.
3. Weigh or measure in the flour into the bowl, spoon in the baking powder, give it a mix through & drop in the butter.
4. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour & continue to do this until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, (very tiny pieces). Or use a pastry cutter.
5. Put the bowl back onto the scales and weigh in the sugar. Give it a good mix.
6. Beat the eggs in a jug and then top up to the 300ml (10 fl oz) mark with the milk, (depending on the size of the eggs, you might not need as much milk).
7. Give the liquid a good mix and then take 2 tbsp of it out and place in a small bowl to use later.
8. Gradually add the egg/milk mixture to the dry ingredients until a soft dough is formed. Be aware that the dough being a little sticky is good for the scones to rise. So only add enough of the liquid until just sticky.
9. Flour a pastry board or worktop or use some baking/parchment paper with a little flour on top.
10. Heat up the oven to: 220c/200c Fan Oven/425f/Gas Mark 6.
11. Meanwhile put the dough down and flatten gently with your hands until you have a level piece of dough about 1 inch (2.5cm) high. Try not to go smaller than this. Don’t be tempted to roll out the dough as this won’t help the scones to rise.
12. Flour the cutter or glass and cut out the scones. Push the cutter down and DO NOT TWIST the cutter. Use a spatula or knife to very carefully transfer to the prepared baking tray. (or let it fall onto the prepared tray). Try to touch the sides of the scones as little as possible.
13. Gently roll up the scraps of dough by hand and flatten out to cut out however more scones you can get, remembering not to knead and handle as little as possible.
14. Now using a pastry brush, very carefully brush the egg/milk liquid you reserved earlier onto the tops of the scones only. If the liquid goes down the sides, it can ruin the rise of the scones. So, the best way to avoid it is by shaking the brush before moving to the scone and starting to brush from the center and go outwards, so there is less liquid on the brush to spill down the sides.
15. Bake for 8-12 minutes until well risen and golden in color. Turn and rotate the baking trays between the shelves during baking, to ensure an even bake.
16. Cool a little on a cooling rack and enjoy warm with whatever fillings you enjoy.
**You can freeze these scones and once defrosted, heat a little in a warm oven.