English scones (since you ask)

Plain Scones

These are not very sweet or rich, but if I’m putting jam and cream or butter on, there’s no need for them to be.

8 oz self raising flour (or plain flour with baking powder* as recommended on the pack)
1 ½ oz butter at room temperature
1 ½ tablespoons white sugar
pinch of salt
5 fluid ounces milk
A little extra flour for rolling out.

Sift the flour into a bowl and rub the butter in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, ad the sugar and the salt, then add the milk, stirring in with a knife and then making a dough with your fingers.
Turn the dough onto a floured board and roll out gently to about ¾ of an inch – don’t make them too thin, but thicker is all right. Cut out with a pastry cutter or knife, put on a floured baking dish, bake for about 12 minutes, depending on size, at gas 7, 425F or 220C (not sure what you use!). When cooked, they will be golden brown and look cooked underneath too. Cook on a wire rack, eat while slightly warm.

Fruit scones

6 oz self raising flour (or 3 oz white SR flour, 3 oz plain wholemeal and 1 teasp baking powder*)
½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1 oz soft brown sugar
1 oz butter
1 ½ oz mixed dried fruit, or just raisins
1 large egg
2 – 2 ½ tablesp. milk
Make as before, adding the cinnamon and fruit before the egg and milk, which you beat together.
They take 15 -20 minutes to cook.

Cheese scones

6 oz SR flour (or as in previous recipe)
½ teasp dry mustard powder – if you don’t have that, a little prepared mustard mixed with the milk.
½ teasp salt if you wish
1 oz butter
3 oz grated strong Cheddar or similar cheese
1 large egg
2-3 tablesp milk

Mix dry ingredients, rub in butter, add most of the cheese (reserve about 1 tablespoonful), mix to a dough with the egg and milk beaten together.
Cut out the scones – it’ll make 6 – 8 – and brush the tops with milk and sprinkle on the reserved cheese.
Bake (same temp as before) for 15-20 minutes, serve warm with more butter if you like.

Exact proportions don’t matter with any of these, I just chuck it all together until it feels and looks right. You can’t go far wrong, just don’t roll them too thin and if you accidentally do, call them rusks.

*Baking powder is a mixture of cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda – for half a pound of flour you’d need 1 level tablesp., which is 15 ml (sorry to switch to metric suddenly) baking powder. If you’re mixing your own, it’s 2/3 cream of tartar to 1/3 bicarb. I said to Yoga Gal that I replace some of the milk with buttermilk or plain yoghurt, but I didn’t mention that, if I don’t, I might add another teaspoon of baking powder, even if I’ve used SR flour.

17 comments on “English scones (since you ask)

  1. Blue Witch

    I’m always amazed by how much scone recipes vary!

    IMHO cream of tartar and bicarb work much better than baking powder for scones. And scones are a great way to use just gone-off milk too (not the sort that makes you retch when you smell it, if it was pasteurised – which all milk in the UK avaialble in shops now has to be by decree of The Nanny State).

    Herbs added to cheese ones are nice too.

  2. Z

    Yes, it’s not like cakes where you have to have the proportions right, you can’t go far wrong with scones. I agree about the CofT & bicarb, but don’t always bother – scones are often a last minute, ready on the table in less than 15 minutes sort of thing with me and measuring small spoonsful (because that you do have to measure) takes an extra minute, during which the eggs over-hard-boil.

    I say buttermilk, but I can hardly ever get it, so usually it’s something else slightly sour!

  3. Dandelion

    I think I might nominate this for Post of the Week. Certainly gets i my vote.

    The only thing I add is a little reassurance for people who haven’t made them before that when you start to mix to a dough, it is going to look like it’s all gone wrong, but you mustn’t worry, just keep going and it comes right.

  4. Dave

    Oh, I’m so annoyed now. My cleaner mentioned last week that she’d been through my cupboards, and thrown out anything beyond the best before date, ready for my move.

    She’s thrown my baking powder and self-raising flour. All I’ve got left is my strong white flour for bread-making.


    *Goes off to make a loaf of bread instead then*

  5. Z

    Spongecake, Dave? A nice Swiss Roll. Or éclairs would be good.

    Sandy, what I can’t make is shortcrust pastry. If your scones don’t turn out right, you could be rolling them out too thin. There isn’t much else to do wrong, I don’t think.

  6. Dave

    May I just add that the smell of fresh bread wafting through my house now is not helping the hunger pangs caused by my diet.

    Any of that home-made jam left?

  7. Z

    Dave, you’re not helping yourself much, are you? Yes, still some jam left and if you are at Norwich station around 11.40 on Saturday, Earlham crematorium on Monday at noon, or the Maddermarket on Tuesday morning, I’ll bring you some. I can’t today, though, for which I apologise profusely.

  8. luckyzmom

    Thank you for the recipes. We have an excellent scone mix that my husband makes. The mill that makes it recently closed down. When the case of their scone mix that we purchased is used up I will need these recipes and have printed them out.


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