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Ultimate scones

Ultimate scones

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(81 ratings)

Takes 25-35 minutes

Easy

Serves 5 - 6
Learn the secret of making perfect scones every time, with Angela Nilsen's ultimate recipe

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze only after baking

Nutrition: per scone (without the trimmings)

  • kcal262
  • fat9g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs42g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.9g
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Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour, preferably organic
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 50g slightly salted butter, chilled, cut in small pieces

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 25g golden caster sugar
  • 125ml buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp full-fat milk

    Milk

    mill-k

    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • a little extra flour for dusting

    Flour

    fl-ow-er

    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

  • strawberry jam and clotted cream, to serve

    Strawberry

    straw-bare-ee

    Once available in Britain for just a brief period during the summer, strawberries are now a year…

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 jam first, then cream, Devonians the other way round). Eat them as fresh as you can.

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Comments (120)

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
5

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
5

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
5

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
5

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
5

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

amchoor's picture
4

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 :-)

niamhey's picture

These were fab I only had cream flour so I added 2 teaspoons of baking powder & I also added raisins &currants. I also brushed them with a beaten egg and milk to give them a finish they were lovely another great dish from this fab website :)

jaqattak's picture
5

perfect scones!! Added 2 teaspoons white vinegar to milk and let it sit 5 mins as substitute for buttermilk which i can't find in France

mrsmalik's picture
5

AMAZING recipe! Changes I made:
Added a little baking powder and bicarbonate of soda; didn't have buttermilk so used room temperature milk with a squirt of lemon juice; finally raisins too.
Incredibly light, scrumptious and crispy crumbly edging...thank you!!

milliewadeson's picture
4

The results were yummy! Added lemon juice as could not get buttermilk. Can't wait to make these all over again :)

eileen3388's picture

Just add tbsp of lemon juice to milk if you can't fin d buttermilk

nhogarth's picture
5

I have always struggled with scones as mine always turned out stodgy but these were great! Very light and fluffy. I added sonme dried fruit too.

caledoniangirl's picture
5

Light and fluffy every time. Perfect.

cowen84's picture
5

first time making scones since i was a child and making them with my gran, these were amazing, tasted delicious, made the house smell divine and also froze well! simply heated them back up in the microwave and tasted just as good as straight out the oven!

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