Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Food #7: Proper English Scones

Like Caroline, I could just eat breakfast all the time. I do a lot of breakfast baking on the weekends, but I'm also often up for an eggs-and-potatoes meal (mm, maybe tonight!), or pancakes, or oatmeal, which is what I eat every morning.

I got this recipe from The Rose Tea shop in Oxford, which Becca recommended to me. I ate them for tea, not breakfast, and they were amazing. Mine aren't the same, because I'm not buying organic flour and I'm not serving them with fabulous tea and I'm measuring by volume instead of weight--but they are still pretty good. And they don't take very long. No special equipment, either, though I use a food processor because I'm lazy.

Proper English Scones


3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tbl baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 cup granulated sugar (same as 3 tbl, if you don't have a 1/8 cup measure)

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

3/4 cup milk

1 egg for the egg wash

Preheat the oven to 350; spray a cookie sheet or put baking parchment or silpat on it.

Put the dry ingredients into your food processor or into a big bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes, then mix it into the dry ingredients with a pastry fork, two knives, or even your fingers (the Rose prefers this method), or pulse the processor until the butter is in pea-sized bits. Add in the milk, either (again) pulsing quickly in the processor until the dough begins to come together, or stirring it in by hand.

Scatter some flour on your (clean) counter or a board and dump the crumbly, not-really-doughy dough out onto it. Pat or roll the dough into some semblance of a circle about an inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter (or my trusty green chili can) cut into circles. Bring the scraps together and pat them out again to cut a few more circles; you should end up with about twelve.

Place the scones on the prepared pan. Beat the egg gently and brush some egg on the top of each scone. Or, don't. They will still taste fine but they will not be as glossy when they come out. Bake for about 20 minutes, until palely golden.

You could use cream instead of milk, but I've made these successfully with 1% milk, even, so don't sweat it.


sam said...

I have to try this, if only because I'm on a quest to model the scones I've had in Britain (and I always fail). Every time I've tried I used buttermilk or cream. But maybe it's just the proportions of the other (basically standard) ingredients that need perfecting.

Anonymous said...

In Australia we don't put sugar in our scones. Just flour, milk, water and butter. The tip my grandmother told me is that to get really light, fluffy scones you want to handle the dough as little as possible (otherwise the air gets pushed out).

Rebe said...

Hi. I am living in Oxford at the moment and I LOVE The Rose(I am addicted to their cream tea). I tried this recipe today and they are quite similar!!! This makes me very happy. The only thing I might change is the amount of salt. They were a bit saltier than the original (baking powder is pretty salty anyway). Thanks for posting the recipe, now I can take a piece of Oxford with me when I go home!