A & C Cook: The Best Scone Recipe

Scones might just be one of life's great pleasures (particularly slathered with jam and cream for a traditional Cream Tea, if you're British like us) - and the good news is that they're also ridiculously easy to make.

Take it from C - she is a "mean scone maker" (to quote A), and she's tried several different recipes over the years. The best one, she's found, unsurprisingly is Paul Hollywood's, and the trick is to use strong white bread flour rather than the standard self-raising that so many recipes call for. This does mean that it takes a bit more kneading and playing with than normal scone dough but believe us, it's worth it.

The scones rise beautifully and are super light and fluffy, but bake perfectly. Recipe as follows (taken from here, and tweaked):

Ingredients - you'll need:

  • 500g/1lb 1oz strong white flour
  • 80g/3oz softened butter
  • 80g/3oz caster sugar
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 250ml/8.5fl oz semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten with salt for glazing
Plus jam and clotted cream (Rodda's only, accept no substitute!) for serving.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220c/200 fan/Gas 7. Lightly grease a baking tray with butter and line it with baking or silicone paper
  2. Put 450g/15.5oz flour into a large bowl and add butter. Rub the flour and butter together with your fingers until it forms a breadcrumb-like mixture. This takes a bit of time, and it may end up feeling just like it's still flour, but that's fine!
  3. Add the sugar, eggs and baking powder and use a wooden spoon to turn the mixture gently. Mix all the way down to the bottom and incorporate all the ingredients
  4. Add half of the milk and keep turning the mixture gently with the wooden spoon to combine. Then, add the remaining milk a little at a time and bring it all together to form a soft, wet dough. You likely won't need to add all of the milk, and the dough will be very wet, but that's normal
  5. Sprinkle most of the remaining flour onto a clean work surface. Tip the soft dough out onto the work surface and sprinkle the rest of the flour on top - it will be wet and sticky
  6. Use your hands to fold the dough in half, and then turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat to incorporate the last of the flour and add air. Do this is a few times until you get a smooth dough. If the mixture becomes a bit sticky, you can use some extra flour to coat the mixture or your hands to make it a bit more manageable - but don't overwork the dough!
  7. Roll the dough out by sprinkling flour onto the work surface and the top of the dough, then use the rolling pin to roll up from the middle and then down from the middle. Turn the dough 90 degrees and and continue to roll until it's about 2.5cm/1 inch thick (this will seem really thick but it's correct). Relax the dough by lifting the edges and letting it drop back onto the work surface
  8. Stamp out rounds from the pastry with a pastry cutter and place onto the baking tray. Leave gaps between the scones so that they have room to rise. You can dip the edge of the pastry cutter in flour to make it easier to cut out the scones without them sticking if needed. Don't twist the cutter too much, just press firmly then lift up and push the dough out
  9. Once you've cut 4 or 5 rounds, rework and re-roll the dough to make it easier to cut the remaining rounds. Leftover dough can be worked and rolled again, but do this carefully
  10. Use a pastry brush (or fingers) to glaze the scones with a beaten egg and salt mixture - but be careful to keep the glaze on top of the scones, otherwise if it runs down the sides it'll stop the scones rising evenly
  11. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes (or until the scones are risen and golden brown)
  12. Leave to cool a bit, and then split in two and serve with jam and clotted cream. Enjoy!


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