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How to make Classic English Scones

Today’s recipe has a special place in my heart! These easy British Scones remind me of one my favorite vacation destinations: London.  My sister and I love everything British: the accent, the weather, and especially the food. Yes, I’m serious, I love British food.

Scones with clotted cream and jam were definitely our favorite treat for tea time! But they’re not always everywhere in our sight so we came up with our own recipe.

These scones are the height of scone perfection, a pastry dream-come-true, should you be as odd as we are and occasionally dream a little dream of scone. They are moist and structured, but still soft and light, ever-so-slightly crisped exterior. They have just the right level of sweet, and we didn’t need to sugar or glaze or really anything them to make them work. Sure, the book/online offers variations on the recipe, but the basic one, the very first one, is all we would ever need.

And now, with my scone quest fulfilled, we can move onto bigger and better things, like pickle parties and planning Sunday night’s dinner. And by “planning” we mean, “taking Monday off.”

Plain, meaning without added fruit, but light, airy and just the right amount of crusty surface makes these scones the perfect backdrop to preserves and clotted cream.

You can make them with buttermilk and natural yoghurt in place of the milk, and you can use 1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and 2 level teaspoons of cream of tartar with plain flour if you want to experiment, but the recipe below seems equally good to us and the ingredients are always available.

Here’s your basic “start here” scone recipe!

Ingredients |

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp of salt
  • 8 tbsp of unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2 – inch pieces and softened
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs

Method |

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Line rimmed baking  sheet with parchment paper. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add butter and using the finger tips fully incorporated and mixture looks like very fine crumbs with no visible butter.

Whisk milk and eggs together in second bowl. Set aside 2 tbsp of milk mixture. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and, using rubber spatula, fold together until almost no dry bits of flour remain.

Transfer dough to well-floured counter and gather into ball. With floured hands, knead until surface is smooth and free of cracks, 25 to 30 times. Press gently to form disk. Using floured rolling pin, roll disk into 9-inch round, about 1 inch thick. Using floured 2 1/2 –inch round cutter, stamp out 8 rounds, re-coating cutter with flour if it begins to stick. Arrange scones on prepared sheet. Gather dough scraps, form into ball, and knead gently until surface is smooth. Roll dough to 1-inch thickness and stamp out 4 rounds. Discard remaining dough.

Brush tops of scones with reserved milk mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 170 degrees and bake scones until risen and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer scones to wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve scones warm or at room temperature.

These scones are so easy to make! We like to make the whole recipe and freeze most of them. Then when we want one we defrost it, most times we let them sit on the counter for a few hours, and it tastes like fresh out of the oven!

We hope you like them! Share with us your version! Take a photo of yours, send us an email, tag us on Instagram,tweet us, anything. We love to see yours!

xoxo, Joe.

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