In the last post, we talked about how to make the perfect biscuits…
Now let’s learn how to make the biscuit’s closest kid—the scone—anotherf quick bread that is made using very similar ingredients and techniques.
The perect scones are moist, light, tall and fluffy…slightly crispy on the outside…puffy and tender on the inside…with just the right amount of sweetness…served with jam, clotted cream, butter, or simply eaten plain. the perfect treat for breakfast or afternoon tea.
That is, assuming you’re an American.
True British scones are actually drier and more crumbly.
The “original” scones, called “bannocks,” were actually large round breads that were made simply of oat or barley flour and water…and then dry-fried on a griddle before being cut apart into wedge shapes.
When it comes to making the perfect scones, you have to have quality ingredients and know the correct method of making them instead of just slopping all the ingredients together and hoping that they come out fit to eat.
By now, whenever you read a recipe for a bread that uses baking soda or baking powder…instead of yeast…to make the bread rise, you should see a pattern emerge.
This pattern of doing things is called the “quick bread method.”
Once you see just how easy it is to make scones yourself, they will no longer be a rarely eaten treat served only for special-day breakfasts and formal high-tea fare….scones that are just as good, if not better, than the ones that I fork over how much money at Starbucks every time that I splurge and buy myself coffee there.
So let’s get started.
- 1Tbsp baking powder
- 2C flour
- 1/2tsp salt
- 1/2C sugar
- 1/2C butter
- 1 egg
- 1C heavy cream or buttermilk
- 1tsp vanilla
The Baking Powder…If you forget the baking powder, your scones will not rise…go figure…
The Sugar…This may seem like a lot of sugar…feel free to experiment to find out if you still like the taste using less sugar…but remember that changing the amount of sugar that you use will chl
If you are making savory scones, reduce this amount to about 2Tbsp.
Brown sugar often makes certain flavors of scones taste even better, but if you are using brown sugar, you should whisk your wet ingredients until you get out all the lumps of brown sugar…otherwise, guess what your scones will contain…
Lumps of brown sugar…obviously.
The Butter…Butter is responsible for the crisp edges, flakiness, flavor, and rise of your scones.
The Egg…Eggs add flavor, lift, and structure.
The Milk…The thicker this dairy ptoduct is, the more your scones will rise and the better they will taste. If you are looking for a “politically correct” form of milk, choose one from this previous post regarding milk options.
The Vanilla Extract… because all baked goods require vanilla, right?!
Wrong…Don’t use the vanilla if you are making savory scones…as opposed to sweet ones.
Optional Ingredients…The optional ingredients that yuu can incorporate into your batter change the taste of your scones and make them much more fun.
A few options include the following…
Chopped Nuts…Add these after cutting in the butter…but before adding the liquid.
Citrus Zest…Add one of the following into the liquid ingredient
Extracts…Add one of the following into the liquid ingredients
Fruit…Use either fresh or frozen fruit. If using frozen fruit, do not thaw the fruit out first. Peel fruits such as apples, peaches, or pears before chopping.
Glaze or Frosting…Top your cooked, slightly cooled scones with one of the following…
- Brown butter icing
- Cream cheese frosting
- Lemon curd
- Lemon icing
- Maple icing
- Orange icing
- Powdered sugar glaze
- Raspberry icing
- Salted caramel frosting
Herbs…Add one of the following into your dry ingredients…
Spices …Add 1/2 to 1tsp one of the following into your dry ingredients….
- Chocolate chips
- Toasted coconut
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Stick your butter in the freezer.
The Dry Ingredients
Whisk together your dry ingredients—the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder— in a large bowl.
…or simply pull out your KitchenAid to do this instead.
Actually we moved last month and I’ve had to hide the red KitchenAid that I love so much because there’s not enough space between the lower and upper kitchen cabinets for it to fit.
Regardless which method you are using, be sure to use a big enough bowl that will allow you lots of room to work in when combining your ingredients..
Add any herbs or spices that you have chosen at this point.