Ultimate scones

Ultimate scones

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(76 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
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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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joannaruthdingle's picture

Cornish woman here. By gum, I didn't know we did the cream differently, but we do. Spread a bit of jam and a big dollop of cream on top. Personally think it is silly to do the other way round as can see how you could spread jam onto cream. Maybe we are just prefer a bigger dollop of cream and the Devonians are more healthy :-)
Look forward to trying this recipe and thanks in advance for the tips about milk and lemon juice.

I too am living abroad (Hungary) and intend using Mascarpone instead of clotted cream. Its thick and rich (over here at least) so I am expecting good, fattening results LOL.

barbaram13's picture

First time luck? No...I have used this recipe twice although with a slight change as I didn't have buttermilk at hand.

I simply used 100ml milk (indeed semi-skimmed), added a tablespoon of yoghurt (I used 0% fat, so not Greek Yoghurt). At the end I also added 75 g raisins and it worked perfectly well. I baked them in ca. 205/210C and only for 12 minutes, which was enough.

Simply Lovely, I will never buy scones ever again. These are soooo much better.

paulsimonriddell's picture
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I'm a culinary disaster, but these scones were easy to make and impressed my family enormously. Delicious!

alirodgers's picture
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Less rich but possibly lighter than the scone recipes which include egg

liniann's picture

In the past Ive had great results from the scones recipes I already have. Always eager to find another good recipe for scones, decided to give this recipe a go - made a batch but found the recipe not as good as others I use. My friend also tried it but found it not as good as the simple recipe she has from her school days. I gave it a fair shot and tried it again but was still disappointed in the texture
Pity as the ingredients in this look good. I did stick to the recipe but now Im back to my old tried and tested recipe

Foodmonster2's picture
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Can't get enough of these! They are delicious and so easy to make. I always have mine with whipped cream though, little less fat and don't taste so heavy.

alexis15's picture
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I added 50g of sultanas that I'd soaked in boiling water for a few minutes to make them soft. The scones are good but I would make them with a larger cutter, they were a bit small for me. Like all scones they're best eaten on the day.

annecouperwoods's picture

My scones have always been a failure and turned out flat and heavy but this recipe worked like a dream and created light scones which had risen well and were delicious. I now get regular requests for scones from my daughter Emily.

Buttermilk seems to make the difference and is widely available in the Isle of Man as it is produced by the local creamery.

Perfect for summer days and has inspired the plans for my parents' Diamond (60th) wedding anniversary later this year - afternoon tea and a string quartet - perfect!

bayleaf1963's picture
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Oops forgot to rate this recipe.

bayleaf1963's picture
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Fantastic - made these for the first time and they came out perfect. Took a couple around to my elderly neighbours - they have now put an order in!
Simple and quick

ukcmf2's picture
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The lighest scones I've ever had...superb

nickygooii's picture
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I used soya milk as an alternative - great results

nickygooii's picture
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Very light, and not too sweet - delicious! I would glaze with egg wash next time to make them look more appealing

katkemp_45's picture
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I added sultanas which had been soaked in boiling water for about half an hour - the result was perfect. It is tempting to overwork the mix but I agree that doing so results in a tough end product. Will use this recipe again!!

lacheshirechat's picture

Three things: The Devons and Cornish do it both ways, the jam and cream, it just depends on how YOUR Mum or Gran did it; that'll always be considered "The Right Way, Period." I love it however I can get it!

Second: If you are having a bit of problem with these marvellous scones NOT rising, then it is probably the self-raising flour. If it's been open MORE than a month or two, the leavening will be 'tired' and you'll need to add a bit of baking powder, like a 5ml teaspoon or two. I actually prefer to use plain flour and add the baking powder myself, that way I KNOW it will work! (And if the baking powder was opened more than 6 months ago, toss it and buy new!)

Three: The lady who gave the other recipe at the beginning of the comments section? That's this recipe, just in ounces, not grams ;)

Plus, I found sultanas or crystallised ginger was fantastic in this! Now going to try grated orange peel and chocolate chips next!

anncardus's picture

Actually it's the Devonians that have clotted cream with jam on top. The Cornish do butter then jam then cream.

mrskonrad's picture
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Fabulous!!

cali118's picture
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Very nice! Easy and taste really good!

superali99's picture
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Make sure your oven is hot and make sure that your oven tray is in the oven when it is warming up. Take the tray out only when the scones are ready to bake and put it straight back in, this ensures that the scones start to cook straight away.

I eat them warm from the oven just with butter and find that they are just wonderful.

superali99's picture
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Once the mixture is on the work surface I literally touch it two or three times lightly with my fingertips to smooth the surface and shape it into a round-ish shape - don't knead it like making bread as it knocks all the air out and your scones will end up being flat and biscuit-like.

Even though this recipe uses self raising flour, the scones will not rise considerably in the oven so you need to make sure that you do not flatten the mixture out too much, it may seem to be too tall when you look at it on the work surface but use the tip of your thumb as a guide. From the recipe above, I make only 4 scones cut with a floured knife from a round, so they come out sort of triangular with a rounded edge.

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