Food and Recipes
Scones are a wonderfully traditional staple of English cuisine, but are surprisingly difficult to get right. Try this simple recipe using basic store cupboard ingredients, remembering the key is to add extra baking powder, and to make sure you don’t over manipulate the dough.
1.5oz/85g soft butter
8oz/225g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 handfuls of raisins or sultanas; you can also use glace cherries or even chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
In a large bowl, mix together the soft butter, flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon. It should resemble large breadcrumbs.
Slowly add in the milk, stirring until the dough comes together. It should not be wet; you may not need to add all the milk. If it does become too wet simply add more flour, but do bear in mind once the dough is out of the bowl you should not add more flour unless really necessary; this creates heavy scones.
Add the raisins and stir until well mixed.
Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper. You may wish to grease and flour it to ensure the scones don’t stick to the paper.
The key at this stage is to make sure the mixture is not over worked. You can either roll the dough out to about 2in onto a large floured board and using biscuit cutters cut out your scones. If you want very light scones or you don’t have a biscuit cutter, simply put the dough onto your baking sheet, form a round with your hands, and then cut the dough into six slices and gently move apart. The scones should be high and not flat, otherwise they will be like stones.
Glaze the top with milk, and sprinkle on either sugar or flour.
Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. You need to check them after 15 minutes, and then every five minutes after that. They should be golden brown on top.
Leave them to cool. They can be served with butter, strawberry jam and lashings of clotted cream, or for a lower calorie version they can be eaten fresh on their own. They only keep for about 2 days because of the low fat and sugar content, but can be toasted if they become dry.