• STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the self-raising flour into a large bowl with ¼ tsp salt and the baking powder, then mix.

  • STEP 2

    Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the caster sugar.

  • STEP 3

    Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot. Add the vanilla extract and a squeeze of lemon juice, then set aside for a moment.

  • STEP 4

    Put a baking tray in the oven. Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife – it will seem pretty wet at first.

  • STEP 5

    Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Pat into a round about 4cm deep. Take a 5cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. You may need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four.

  • STEP 6

    Brush the tops with a beaten egg, then carefully arrange on the hot baking tray. Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm or cold on the day of baking, generously topped with jam and clotted cream. If freezing, freeze once cool. Defrost, then put in a low oven (about 160C/140C fan/gas 3) for a few minutes to refresh.

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Adding a squeeze

of lemon juice to

the milk sours it slightly,

mimicking sharp-tasting

buttermilk, often used in

scones but sometimes

tricky to find. The slightly

acidic mix gives a

boost to the raising

agents in the flour and

baking powder.


Scones are so quick to

make that my mum would

often emerge with a plateful

before we’d even noticed

she’d gone! I’ve borrowed

her tip of using warm milk,

and added a few tricks of

my own for light scones

that rise every time


For toweringly tall scones, always pat the

dough out a bit thicker than you think you

should. I say pat rather than knead because

scones are essentially a sweet soda bread and,

like other soda breads, will become tough

when over-handled. Kick-start the scones’ rise

with a hot baking tray and don’t leave the

dough sitting around. If you like your scones

with lots of juicy fruit, stir 85g plump sultanas

into the mix at the same time as the sugar.

Try plenty of exciting scone ideas from our sister title

Recipe from Good Food magazine, August 2007

Goes well with


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