My office is starting some new initiatives to help with work/life balance during this ever-so-stressful time of year. Crafty lunch hours, walking groups, and starting tomorrow, potluck Friday morning meetings!
I offered to start things off by baking some scones. This led to colleagues offering to bring clotted cream, mascarpone cheese, English preserves and an assortment of David’s Tea! We’re going to have a downright proper tea party tomorrow morning!
The key to making these scones is to keep the butter cold… I actually start by freezing the butter for an hour beforehand.
Also? Don’t cheat by using a mixer. This is a hands-on recipe that will not turn out as well if you use a mixer (you’ll overwork the dough with a mixer)
2/3 cup cold unsalted butter
3 1/4 cup self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
2 level teaspoons baking powder
2 heaped teaspoons golden caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
4 tablespoons milk, plus a little extra for brushing
Here’s the instructions from the book, with my pictures for your visual reference:
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. First and foremost, brilliant scones are about having the confidence to do as little as possible, so do what I say and they’ll be really great; and the second and third time you make them you’ll get the dough into a solid mass even quicker, even better.
Put your butter, flour, baking powder, sugar and a good pinch of sea salt into a mixing bowl and use your thumbs and forefingers to break up the butter and rub it into the flour so you get little cornflake – sized pieces. Make a well in the middle of the dough, add the eggs and milk, and stir it up with a spatula. Add a tiny splash of milk if needed, until you have a soft, dry dough. Move it around as little as possible to get it looking like a scruffy mass – at this point, you’re done. Sprinkle over some flour, cover the bowl with cling film and pop it into the fridge for 15 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 3/4″ thick. With a 6cm round cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out circles from the dough and place them upside down on a baking sheet – they will rise better that way (so they say). Re-roll any offcuts to use up the dough. Brush the top of each scone with the extra milk or some melted butter and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until risen and golden.
At that point, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool down a little.
*disclaimer* – my first batch of these didn’t rise and i figured out I had rolled them out too thin. Make sure its a generous 3/4″ – 1″, otherwise, they’re more like scone cookies than big fluffy proper scones.
Makes 16 to 20 scones
Serve with your favourite accompaniments!
Original recipe, can be found here