I love how British scones are; an afternoon tea just wouldn’t be complete without these little beauties making an appearance (warm of course!). Seeing how much I loved to eat them, it was only right that I attempted to bake them too.
As an amateur scone baker, I decided to replicate a recipe invented by the master of all things bread… Paul Hollywood. Hollywood uses strong white bread flour instead of normal cake flour, as he claims this gives the scone strength and structure whilst keeping it light and fluffy inside. Let me tell you isn’t wrong… these scones were perfect!
Once you’ve mastered this basic scone recipe, feel free to experiment with different flavours. Blueberry, chocolate chip, cinnamon, cheese, dried fruit… the list is endless. Happy Baking!
Ingredients (makes 12 large scones)
500g strong white bread flour
80g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature and cut into pieces
80g caster sugar
2 medium eggs, lighten beaten
5 tsp baking powder
250ml semi-skimmed milk
1 medium egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
Butter/clotted cream/whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper or use silicone mats.
Put 450g of the flour in a large bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter and flour together with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, eggs and baking powder to the mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients.
Add half the milk and keep turning the mixture gently with the spoon to combine. Add the remaining milk, a little at a time, and bring everything together to form a soft, wet dough.
Sprinkle most of the remaining flour onto a clean surface. Tip the dough out onto it and sprinkle the rest of the flour on top. Use your hands to fold the dough in half, turn it 90° and repeat. Do this a few times until a smooth dough is formed – be careful not to overwork the dough as this can result in tough scones. This technique is called ‘chaffing’ and will incorporate the last of the flour and add air to the dough.
Sprinkle a little more flour onto a work surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about 2.5cm thick. Use a pastry cutter, dipped in flour to prevent sticking, to cut out 12 circles and place them on your baking trays(once you’ve cut out as many circles as possible, re-roll the dough to cut more). Leave the scones to rest for a few minutes.
Brush the tops of the scones with the beaten egg mixture to glaze them. Bake for 17-20 minutes. The scones should have risen, the top and bottoms golden brown and springy to the touch. Serve warm/cold and cut in half with jam, cream or butter.