Foolproof Scone Recipe
An easy and simple recipe for the best homemade English scones. Soft and fluffy and served with cream and jam, this is a foolproof recipe for these traditional scones.
- 375 g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 12 g caster sugar
- 180 ml whole milk - cold
- 1 large egg - cold
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 90 g unsalted butter - chopped, cold
Sift dry ingredients together. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Into a large mixing bowl, sift in your dry ingredients; flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the sugar and stir together.
Whisk wet ingredients together. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla extract. Once whisked, set aside one tablespoon of the egg mixture- this will be your egg wash to be used later on.
Add butter to flour. Add the chopped butter and using your fingertips, toss the pieces until they are separated and coated with flour. In the bowl, set roughly ¼ of the butter cubes to the side of the bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the flour and remaining butter together until it looks like breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, use a pastry cutter) Now rub the remaining cubes of butter into the flour but this time leave them larger until they are the size of peas.
Combine wet into the dry ingredients. Make a well in the dry mix and pour in the whisked egg and milk mixture into the centre. Use a fork to stir until the mixture just starts to come together to form a dough. It will still be very shaggy at this point and feel quite sticky. If necessary, use your hands to lightly bring it all together incorporating the dry flour left at the bottom of the bowl.
Bring the dough together and roll it out. Tip the scone mix onto a lightly floured surface and using your hands, bring it together and gently flatten it out. We're going to use a folding technique to create flaky layers and incorporate air into the dough and minimise kneading. I use a bench scraper to help me out. Fold the dough in half and turn, then fold in half again. Using your hands, shape and press the dough into a round disc or gently roll with a rolling pin until the dough is roughly 4 cm (11⁄2 inches) thick.
Cut out scone rounds. Dip a 6 cm (21⁄4-inch) cookie cutter in flour and stamp out 4 or 5 rounds. Make sure that you don’t twist the cutter when pressing down as this can make the scones wonky when they bake. (They still taste the same so don't fret if you do twist it a bit.) Place the scones on the prepared baking tray so they're just touching each other.
Cut scones from the remaining dough and bake. Gather any scraps and push them together with your hands until another disc is formed. Cut out as many rounds as you can with this leftover dough. Note, that they won't rise quite as much as the first round, as you’ve worked the dough more than the first scones. Place on the baking tray with the others. Now refrigerate the tray for 30 minutes to rest the dough. Pre-heat oven to 200C (425F) whilst the scones are in the fridge.
Egg wash and bake. Using the egg wash that you set aside earlier, brush the tops of the scones. Take care not to let any drip down the sides of the scones as this can inhibit their rise. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and well risen. Serve scones warm with cream and jam. Best eaten the day they are made.
Step-by-Step Photos: My blog post includes helpful step-by-step photos to help guide you through making this recipe.
Self-raising flour substitute: If you don't have self-raising flour, then sub with plain flour and baking powder. For the standard size recipe above, add 3 teaspoons of baking powder to 300g/2 ⅓ cups plain (all-purpose) flour and stir together. Continue as per the recipe and the other ingredients, including the stated baking powder.
Storage: Best eaten on the same day, but they can be stored in an airtight container and will remain fresh for about two days.
Freeze: These scones are great for freezing. Make the dough up until Step 6. Cut the scones out with a cookie cutter, then place them on a baking tray (leaving space around them) and freeze. Once frozen, place in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Bake directly from the freezer; defrosting isn’t necessary.
Tip 1: Keep everything cold. Cut butter and refrigerate or freeze for half an hour before making the scones. If your kitchen is hot the measure out all your ingredients and refrigerate before using them to cool them down. Run cold water over hot hands and dry before handling the butter.
Tip 2: Don't overwork the dough. Use my folding technique to create extra flaky layers.
Tip 3: For the best rise. Use a round cookie cutter rather than a crinkle shaped one. Dust the cookie cutter in flour before stamping down. Don't twist the cutter when stamping out rounds. Egg wash just the tops of the scones (drips will inhibit the rise).
Tip 4: Refrigerate the dough before baking. This allows the butter to harden again and the gluten to relax. This helps create soft, flaky scones.
Small Batch Scone Recipe Makes 4 large scones (Or 6 small ones.)
150g (1 ¼ cup) self-raising flour
15g granulated sugar (1 tbsp)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
45g cold unsalted butter, chopped (3 tbsp)
45ml whole milk (3 tbsp)
1 medium egg, room temperature- whisk and remove and discard 1 tbsp of the beaten egg.
Follow the method written for a standard-sized batch. Instead of cutting out rounds, work the dough into a round disc with your hands, then cut into four quarters with a sharp knife. Place the round on a baking tray, refrigerate, brush with egg wash and bake as normal. (Image in FAQ's above)
Calories: 279kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 7gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 221mgPotassium: 88mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 348IUCalcium: 68mgIron: 1mg