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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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