Scones are not just simply delicious but can be whipped up in next to no time. They can either be plain or include raisins and can be smothered in butter or my personal favourite whipped cream and jam. Scones are great for just eating at home but are the star attraction of a tea party. Without them, a tea party seems incomplete. I have made so many versions of scones over the years in my pursuit of perfection. Finally, I think I have managed to achieve a scone which has good height and great taste. There are a couple of tricks though. Firstly when you push the cookie cutter into the dough, do NOT twist the cookie cutter to get the scone shape out. Lift it from the rest of the dough and gently tease the dough from the cookie cutter. Secondly, when rolling out the dough ensure that it is just over 2cms thick. If you roll it too thin, the scones will not get the height. I also find using a finer flour “OO” Italian grade flour makes the scone lighter. Do not worry if you cannot find any (although most supermarkets now stock it), its just that I use it quite a lot for light fluffy cakes and delicacies, so always have it to hand. Plain flour thats been well sieved will give a good result.
500g of “OO” Italian Flour or plain flour
2 heaped tsp cream of tartar
1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
130g chilled salted butter
50g caster sugar
1 egg beaten
275ml of milk
3 tbsp of Demerera sugar
Optional: 40g sultanas
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade and lightly grease a baking tray.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar into a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mix until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Light airy motions are best for this. Stir in the caster sugar.
Mix the beaten egg and milk together.
With the beaten egg/milk, you want to retain a couple of tablespoons for brushing onto the tops of the scones later. The remaining egg mixture along with the milk can be added and mixed until a dough forms and the mixture comes together. If adding the optional sultanas do so at this stage. On a lightly floured surface roll or even better gently press the mixture to just over 2cms in thickness.
Using a 6cm cookie cutter press down into the dough (please see narrative notes above). The dough will give you between 10-12 scones. Just keep rolling the dough until its all gone and you cannot make any more scones. Transfer the scones onto your baking tray.
With the remaining egg/milk that you set aside brush the tops of each scone. Sprinkle the demerera sugar on top.
Bake in the oven for around 10-15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes.
Eat warm with butter or cool with cream and jam!