My little brother is getting married tomorrow so I thought I would do a spot of baking. I have co-ordinated a whole team of bakers in fact to make all manner of deliciousness for guests when they arrive back at the house from the church. Scones are great when you need to bake in advance as they freeze really well. When you’re ready to eat them all you need to do is defrost them completely and then place them in a low oven for 2 to 3 minutes to warm them up. It’s that simple.
After you have combined the self-raising flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and butter (you crumb the butter so that it is mixed in completely) you make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in warm milk – which has a couple of drops of fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract. Using a knife mix the warm milk into the flour and a beautifully soft dough will form – you can add a little more flour if it remains too sticky.
Place it on a floured surface and fold it over a few times either by hand or using a rolling pin. Flatten it so that you still have about 4cm thickness and then using a cutter (5cm in diameter – smooth edges is probably more preferable but I only had a wavy edge one!) make your scones. I dug out one of my children’s cookie cutters that actually allowed the dough to bulge out the top, which I thought worked rather well. Place them spaced out on a large baking tray covered with baking paper. Glaze each scone with your beaten egg mixture.
Place them in a preheated oven – 220C/fan 200C if using a non fan for 11 minutes precisely.
The proportions below will make 11-12 scones. I made mine in 6 batches as I found it a lot easier doing it this way.
You can either serve them immediately with clotted cream and strawberry jam or once cooled freeze them until ready to use (in which case defrost thoroughly and then reheat them for a couple of minutes in a low oven).
Easy Classic Scones
350g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
85g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 tbsp caster sugar (optional – see notes below)
few drops of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten to glaze
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/ Gas 7 and line a baking tray.
- In a large bowl sieve the flour and baking powder. Add the salt, sugar and cubed butter and using your finger tips break up the butter to form little crumbs when mixed with the flour – you don’t want any large butter cubes remaining.
- Warm the milk in a pan/microwave so that it is warm but not boiled. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Make a well in the bowl of flour mixture and gently pour in the milk.
- Using a knife mix the milk into the flour to form a dough ball. Flour your hands and the work surface and move the dough onto the surface. Flatten it with your hands and fold it over a few times. You can gently use a rolling pin but you need to make sure that the dough remains fairly thick – around 4cm deep.
- Place some baking paper onto your baking tray and place the scones at intervals so they do not touch. Brush the tops with beaten egg.
- Once you have used up all the dough place in the oven for 11 minutes exactly. Remove from oven and then either leave to cool completely and then freeze or eat immediately with jam and clotted cream.
Note: A couple of batches I completely omitted (forgot) sugar and honestly I could not notice a difference once I had placed clotted cream and jam on top.
If freezing, when you want to eat them simply defrost completely then heat in a very low oven for 2/3 minutes to rewarm the scones.