I have baked scones many times before. All this while, I've been using the recipe by Joy of Baking and have made many variations of it. I have never bothered trying out other recipes, cos to me, they were good. But there was always one problem which I couldn't understand, she mentioned this, 'transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough four or five times', the problem is, my dough was already very sticky when all the ingredients were mixed, there was no way I could have kneaded it. I just quickly made round shape with the dough and placed into the oven to bake.
|Blackcurrant Rooibos scones with Joy of Baking's scone recipe|
|Cranberry & walnut scones with Joy of Baking's recipe|
I even managed to retrieve the photos of my scones back from 2011. They looked.. not bad.. hahaaa.. Now I see the problem after I found the secret to making great scones! The problem with my previous scones, they never rose enough to give me that 'waist part' to cut out and spread cream on?!! I've been surfing the net a lot these days (things I do when the little baby is asleep and I have to be by his side, but it's only 8pm, too early a sleep time for me!) and I realized that the secret is to have the butter COLD when the scones are baked, so they will allow for the rise, making way for a fluffy texture. I can imagine the texture of a good scone, but most of my previous scones doesn't give me that texture, cos my butter was already melted when the dough was thoroughly mixed. I read somewhere that I can freeze the butter and grate them into the dough so that the butter is still cold when the dough was formed (I've been surfing so much, I couldn't recall the source of this info). It would even be better to refrigerate the scone a short while before baking. After gathering all these info, I decided to bake scones for our teatime, and will be using a simple scone recipe from Bill Granger. My thoughts, all the scones recipe and ingredients are pretty similar, it's the technique. Let's find out if I was right.
Tada!! Here are the photos of my 'perfect' scones!! Yes!! I was right!! It wasn't about the recipe (sorry to Bill).. cos all the recipes were very similar to each other, consisting of the typical scones ingredients. It was the technique, and the tip is 'COLD'.. everything needs to be COLD, butter, milk/cream and egg. And not to let the butter melt when mixing and kneading. Check out the last photo, see how fluffy the scone is? The amount of sugar in Bill's recipe is considered quite minimal compared to Joy's but it was alright, cos there was the blackcurrant and choc-chips to give it that subtle sweetness, but the texture turned out to be just right.
Try this recipe or any scones recipe, but please bear in mind, have all the ingredients mixed and kneaded cold, especially the butter, try this technique, grate the butter with a cheese grater, it works if you want to get good scones.
Here's the recipe I adapted from Bill Granger's:
- 250g self-raising flour + 1tsp of baking powder (I should try 1.5tsp next time and see if my scones tower higher)
- 1tbsp icing sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 100g frozen butter, grated
- 1/2 cup of organic dried blackcurrant and choc-chips
- 1 egg, beaten
- 120ml cream
|*The sugar is quite minimal. If you have sweet-tooth, and are baking these for parties, you may up the sugar to 1.5-2tbsp.|
- Preheat the oven to 190deg C (fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in the cold grated butter.
- Mix in the beaten egg and cream. Gently toss in the blackcurrants and choc chips.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead (the tip is to NOT overmix). Press into a 2cm thickness dough (no need to bother using a rolling pin, the scone needs that rugged look).
- Cut into round shape scones (or whatever shape desired), using a round glass. Place on the baking tray and brush with some remaining egg and cream left in the measuring jug. Sprinkle with brown sugar and oat.
- Bake for 15-20min or until golden.
I usually have coffee. But with some very nice freshly baked scones, I cannot not have tea. A scone isn't complete without a good tea :)