Ultimate scones

Ultimate scones

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(61 ratings)

By

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Cooking time

Takes 25-35 minutes

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 5 - 6

Learn the secret of making perfect scones every time, with Angela Nilsen's ultimate recipe

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freeze only after baking
Nutrition info

Nutrition per scone (without the trimmings)

kcalories
262
protein
5g
carbs
42g
fat
9g
saturates
6g
fibre
1g
sugar
5g
salt
0.9g

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour, preferably organic
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 50g slightly salted butter, chilled, cut in small pieces
  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 125ml buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp full-fat milk
  • a little extra flour for dusting
  • strawberry jam and clotted cream, to serve

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7/fan 200C and lightly butter a baking sheet (unless you’re using a non-stick sheet). Tip the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt. Shoot in the butter, then rub together with your fingers to make a reasonably fine crumbed mixture, lifting to aerate the mixture as you go. Try not to overrub, as the mixture will be lighter if it’s a little bit flaky. Now stir in the sugar.
  2. Measure the buttermilk, then mix in the milk to slacken it. Make a bit of a well in the middle of the flour mixture with a round-bladed knife, then pour in most of this buttermilk mixture, holding a little bit back in case it’s not needed. Using the knife, gently work the mixture together until it forms a soft, almost sticky, dough. Work in any loose dry bits of mixture with the rest of the buttermilk. Don’t overwork at this point or you will toughen the dough.
  3. Lift the ball of soft dough out of the bowl and put it on to a very lightly floured surface. Knead the mixture just 3-4 times to get rid of the cracks.
  4. Pat the dough gently with your hands to a thickness of no less than 2cm and no more than 2.5cm. Dip a 5.5cm round fluted cutter into a bowl of flour – this helps to stop the dough sticking to it, then cut out the scones by pushing down quickly and firmly on the cutter with the palm of your hand – don’t twist it.You will hear the dough give a big sigh as the cutter goes in. Gather the trimmings lightly then pat and cut out a couple more scones.
  5. Place on the baking sheet and sift over a light dusting of flour or glaze if you wish. Bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack, uncovered if you prefer crisp tops, or covered loosely with a cloth for soft ones.
  6. Serve with strawberry jam and a generous mound of clotted cream (Cornish people put cream first, then jam, Devonians the other way round). Eat them as fresh as you can.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2003

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Comments

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shell-mcmillan's picture
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So easy! And delicious! My first attempt at scones and they turned out perfect! :) made 1 batch with fruit and 1 without!

handsonpaws's picture

Delicious! I put a tea towel on them while they're still warm to keep them soft, so good with clotted cream and blackberry jam.

erinkirby's picture
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Oh my word, superb! I didn't have buttermilk so added some lemon juice to semi skimmed milk and it worked out just fine. I also added a handful of sultanas to the mixture. I made quite large scones - 4 large and 1 smaller with the leftover dough - so they needed a little extra cooking time. Soft and fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Pure bliss with jam and clotted cream. Very happy!

proofofthepudding's picture
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Vickyvp, if you go to www.convert-me.com there you can convert Metric/U.S./U.K. measurements with 1 click! Easy. Hope that helps, Lorraine.

proofofthepudding's picture
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I have a terrible track record with scones. Always, ALWAYS a disaster. HOWEVER...this time, I have ended up with the most perfect scones EVER!!! Only got 6 (and a scrappy "cook's" one) out of the mixture at the quantities listed - but they rose, they are golden, they are light, fluffy and absolutely delicious! Like some others, I didn't have buttermilk, so added the dash of lemon juice (from a bottle!) to the milk, also made a point of aerating the flour/fat mix by lifting it several times and allowing to drop through my fingers back into the bowl; used a palette knife to stir and was careful not to over-mix. My end result mixture was quite "wet" though, had to add a little flour so it would keep its shape. Very pleased with end result! Definitely 5 stars!

vickyvp's picture

can someone convert this to standard cups? I can't figure out metrics

swiftsmith's picture
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Oh dear! Just made these and they didn't rise at all, they spread out instead. My oven isn't the best but it can usually do cakes well enough, not sure what happened here... (they still tasted nice though).

chockagirl's picture
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I love this recipe! Always get perfect scones.

eviemay-003's picture

Made these yesterday but as I didn't have any buttermilk I squeezed a little lemon juice in full fat milk (as suggested by Devonshire girl)and it worked a treat. I hadn't made scones since my schooldays and was wondering how they would turn out. They were delicious with home made strawberry jam and whipped cream. Will definitely be making them again in double the quantity!!!

alligordon's picture
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Sorry forgot to rate the recipe. I give it a full 5.

Brill, crunchy on the outside, soft & fluffy on the inside.

alligordon's picture
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Just made a shed load of scones for the Macmillan coffee morning I'm hosting. They have come out perfect, the best I've ever done. Even with the heavy hands of my dear 5 year old daughter helping. Just hope that they freeze well, for the big day on Friday 28th Sept.

Any tips on the re-heat. Do I cook from frozen or defrost first?

paulandsuzanne's picture

Mine haven't risen at all! I followed the recipe, hardly worked it at all and they are the same size as they were when I put them in the oven! Has anyone got a suggestion??

memullie's picture

Paulandsuzanne- maybe you used plain flour instead of self-raising flour?

autumn666's picture
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Lovely light, moist scones everytime - so quick and easy to make in the mixer wth the addition of a teaspoon of bicarb, but remember not to overmix.

I always make double the quantity which makes 10 proper ones and a sort of odd shaped one with the scraps - for the cook :-D

These scones freeze really well and taste just as good with a blast in the microwave.

Jam first, cream on top - and I'm in Penzance!

annerieke's picture

My ones didnt rise.. I don't understand what went wrong there, followed the steps exactly and have made scones successfully before. The only thing that I did differently was that I swapped golden caster sugar for normal white sugar as I didn't have the golden one at hand. Also, I don't think I overworked it.. anyway they taste fine but not fluffy and light. Anyone has any idea what could have gone wrong? Would like to try this again.

boistizon's picture
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Made a english cream tea for some French friends of mine, and used this recipe, they were all really impressed by the 'gateau anglaise' and wanted the recipe. I could not get buttermilk over here but used natural yoghurt and they looked and tasted amazing. Ultimate is really the correct word for this brilliant recipe!!

memullie's picture

I find buttermilk in the supermarket. It's called "Babeurre". In Belgium we call it "Lait Battu".

cmtodd's picture
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Delicious!! Was simply looking to use up some buttermilk but will buy to make these beautiful scones in future

amchoor's picture
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Nice consistency, fluffy and moist but mine did not rise as much as I had hoped needed longer in the oven in order to brown.

butcherandveggie's picture

Best Scones I have ever made!! The mix does only make about 5 scones but you only need one each believe me once you have piled on the jam and clotted cream.
I have already passed this on :-)

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