What in the world has taken me so long? That is a question I'll never have the answer to. I finally got around to making classic, British style scones. I mean, I've made scones before (see here and here), but never these true classic scones.
For some reason, I always thought they require much more effort - yeast, rising time, chilling time. But nope, none of the above is true. Dare I may say it, these were actually the simplest and quickest scones I've made. And they turned out just perfect. Rich and buttery with just the right level of denseness and crumb (not flaky like a croissant nor overly dense like a cake), these scones are best served warm, sliced in half, with hearty lashings of cream and jam (strawberry is my favorite here).
I made these one morning for a great breakfast accompanied by lots and lots of summer fruit, and cups of tea/chilled glasses of milk! I used cranberries instead of the classic black raisins for a couple of reasons: 1) I wanted to switch it up a bit, 2) I'm not the biggest raisin fan and 3) We didn't actually have any black raisins on hand. I personally loved this change, but feel free to use raisins, or nothing at all.
On another note, I'm going on a dinner date with my sister tonight and I can't wait. I love spending quality time with her, and what better than over oodles of good food?
Makes 6 large(ish) scones
2 cups self-raising flour
pinch of salt
45-50g butter, chilled
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
3-4 tbsp buttermilk, plus a little extra for brushing
1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 200 C and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Add the butter in small pea-sized chunks and use a fork/your fingers/a pastry cutter to mix the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add sugar and cranberries to the dry mixture.
In a cup, beat together the egg with 2 tbsp of the buttermilk and add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix gently.
Add more buttermilk a teaspoon at a time, until the dough starts to come together. Definitely use your hands because it will be ready before you think if you continue using a utensil! The dough should be soft, but not the slightest bit sticky. If it is, add in a dash more flour.
Form the dough into a ball and dump it onto a lightly floured surface. Using your fingers, gently pat it into a circle at least 1 inch thick.
Using a cookie cutter, cut out the scones. Try not to twist the cookie cutter as you pull it out as this will prevent the scones from rising well. Repeat until you are left with the trimmings. Bring these together to form the last scone.
Place the scones on the baking sheet and very lightly brush them with buttermilk. Bake for 13-17 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm with clotted cream and jam. Enjoy!