02 August 2018

Classic Scones - Traditional Scones - A Tutorial

Classic Scones - Traditional Scones - A Tutorial / www.delightfulrepast.com

Today, Classic Scones. I’ve blogged several different scones over the years: Cream Scones, Fresh Blackberry Scones, Fresh Peach Scones, Gluten-Free Scones (even Classic Scones, but that was in the first month of the blog, so most of you missed it). 

And looking over that recipe, I’ve decided it perhaps didn’t give quite as much detail as a novice scone maker might need; so if that’s you, this one’s for you! A tutorial, you might say.

First, let’s talk about the texture of a scone. I’ve had scones that were made by folding and rolling the dough a few times to achieve “layers.” They were delicious, but uh uh. If you want layers, I’ll give you Croissants, Danish or Butteries

I’ve also had scones that were fluffy or cakey. Uh uh. A proper scone has a certain characteristic texture, and that’s not it. Following the recipe directions below should give you the proper texture. More crumbly than flaky, drier perhaps than an American biscuit but not dry.


Classic Scones - Traditional British Scones - A Tutorial / www.delightfulrepast.com
Don't forget to Pin it and share it!

Now, let’s talk about the shape. You can make them round or you can make them wedge-shaped. One is not more “correct” or “British” or “authentic” than the other. If you prefer round scones, cut the dough with a round cutter (2-inch/5 cm maximum). 

But I nearly always make the wedge shape, for two reasons: 1) That’s the way my mother and her mother and her mother’s mother made them since the 1880s or earlier in northwest England, and 2) It uses all the dough the first time around, so there are no scraps that have to be worked together for a second cutting.

This is perhaps a bit more butter and sugar than my grandmother used but not so much as what some American scone recipes call for. But you want to taste the butter, right? And my mother and I were never ones to pile on the jam quite like my grandmother, so a little more sugar than she used is called for.

The scones I baked today were for elevenses (British English for midmorning tea break). For an afternoon tea, I serve clotted cream, lemon curd and raspberry or strawberry jam with the scones. For everyday tea, though, I enjoy them unadorned.

Of course, I’m being terribly opinionated about all this. But if you offer me a scone made by another method along with a nice cup of tea, I’m not going to turn it down! What are your preferences and opinions on scones? Round or wedge? Plain or fruit?


Classic Scones - Traditional Scones - A Tutorial / www.delightfulrepast.com


Classic Scones - Traditional Scones


(Makes 16 scones)

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) milk
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) cold unsalted butter, coarsely shredded or cut into little cubes
Finely grated zest of one medium orange or lemon, optional

1/2 cup (2.5 ounces/71 grams) dried currants or other chopped dried fruit, optional
1 large egg (medium, if you’re in the UK)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Preheat oven to 500F/260C/Gas10. In glass measuring cup stir together cider vinegar and milk. Let stand to thicken a bit for 5 minutes as you proceed. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle a bit of flour lightly in two 6-inch circles.


Classic Scones - Traditional Scones - A Tutorial / www.delightfulrepast.com


Tip: My OXO Good Grips bench scraper has a 6-inch ruler on the edge of its stainless steel blade, making it a perfect multi-use tool for making scones.


Classic Scones - Traditional Scones - A Tutorial / www.delightfulrepast.com


2 In medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With your fingers, rub the butter (shredded with the Microplane extra coarse grater) into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal or fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the orange zest (Microplane zester grater) and dried fruit to coat and separate. Add the egg and vanilla to the soured milk and whisk together; remove 1 tablespoon of the mixture to use as an egg wash.


Classic Scones - Traditional Scones - A Tutorial / www.delightfulrepast.com




Tip: It’s best to keep ingredients cool. If it’s a hot day, or your hot little hands are making the butter melt, pop your mixing bowl in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.


Classic Scones - Traditional Scones - A Tutorial / www.delightfulrepast.com



3 With a large fork stir the wet mixture, a little at a time, into the dry mixture and gently mix until just combined. You may not need to use all of it (or you might need to add a bit more milk); use just enough to make a soft, but not wet or sticky, dough. Do the final mixing with your hand; the dough should not be sticking to your hand or the bowl. Do not knead; there's no need to knead!

Classic Scones - Traditional Scones - A Tutorial / www.delightfulrepast.com


4 Divide the dough into two roughly equal (no need to weigh, but I love my food scale) smooth balls and place them on the floured circles and gently pat the dough, dusting with flour as needed, into two 5.25- to 5.5-inch (14 cm) rounds. Take a moment to make sure your discs are smooth and flat, almost 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick, and have smooth, straight edges. With a bench scraper or long sharp knife, cut each round into 8 wedges. Pull the wedges out and space them an inch or two apart.

Classic Scones - Traditional Scones - A Tutorial / www.delightfulrepast.com


Tip: Again, if it’s a hot day, or the heat of your hands has softened the dough, pop your baking sheet in the fridge to cool the discs off before cutting them into wedges.

5 With silicone pastry brush, brush tops only with the reserved tablespoon of milk-egg mixture. Place in oven, and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400F/205C/Gas6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Put on the kettle and make a proper cup of tea. Enjoy the delightful repast!

For how to throw an afternoon tea party and a roundup of afternoon tea recipes, see Afternoon Tea Party Tips.


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites.


Jean

81 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

They look authentic and ever so yummy!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. Wish I had one right now!

Denise inVA said...

Hi Jean, this looks a wonderful recipe. I have made the traditional round shape more often than not, but a couple of times the wedges. I am going to make yours just as you describe. Thanks for the share, always looks wonderful in your photos.

Schotzy said...

These look so delicious.. I love how you make your own buttermilk. I always do as well! Admire your china.. I have a partial set of these... love the teapot!!!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Never knew there were so many scones. Is this covered under the Magna Carta? I just ate a McMuffin with sausage and egg – ague. Besides being sick, I feel so inadequate. Think I’ll just eat a peanut butter cookie…

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Denise, thank you. Let me know how they turn out for you.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Schotzy. Those dishes were a gift from dear friends. I love them (the friends and the dishes!).

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, I think a good homemade peanut butter cookie makes a wonderful breakfast! Certainly better than a fast food thing. But you seem to be thriving on your diet, so ...

Mrs Mummy Harris said...

I used to really hate scones but as i've got older they're actually ridiculously yummy!!
Thank you for sharing this post with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week lovely x

Bernideen said...

What a wonderful series of photos for your tutorial and I am imagining many trying your great scones. Thank you so much for walking us through instructions. Lovely dishes too!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mrs Mummy! Anyone who hates scones simply hasn't had the *right* scones yet. :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Bernideen. It was such fun for me! Of course, *you* don't need any help with scones!

Tony Grant said...

Ah Jean, scones. To get the full effect I would need to hear how you say, scone, to ascertain your ,"class." Are you posh or are you a mere common person? If you say scone with a rounded elongated O sound you are aristocratic. If you say scone with a flatter more guttural shorter sound you are working class. Nowadays if you use use the rounded full O sound people would look at you and think,"she's putting on the airs and graces."Everybody uses the flatter guttural sound.

It's normal aint it?

I like a good scone with butter and jam on it. Good one Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tony. I wanted to include info about pronunciation, but the post was getting sooooooo long, something had to give! Everybody in the US, posh or common, pronounces it to rhyme with stone. When I've pronounced it to rhyme more with gone (probably picked up from my Northern--Lake District--grandmother) people have thought, "she's putting on the airs and graces."

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I'd love a scone, Jean, and yours look perfectly wonderful! I like scones of all shapes, and even love drop scones. My very favorite scone that I ever had was from Cabra Castle in Ireland. Thank you for sharing your recipe, and also the peach berry crumble cake that I missed last week. Happy baking!

Tony Grant said...

That's the way to say it Jean, as with , gone. Saying it as in, stone, is very plummy and posh.

If we were ever to meet Jean, you might be surprised at my accent. It's a southern accent. I do not, however, have clipped vowels like some posh southerners. My accent comes from a particular place in the south. Even though I have lived in London for over forty years people can still tell I come from Southampton. It has a mild, soft burr to it.

Quinn said...

I don't put anything sweet on scones; just eat them plain, or with butter only. And I've never had a scone I didn't like, but my favorites were scones made with dried cherries, and some made with ginger - I assume it was candied ginger but don't know exactly...little chewy spicy bits :)
Just remembered, I did once have a scone with chocolate chips but did not care for it. Rather have a plain scone and save the chocolate for croissants or cookies.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Kitty. Perhaps I'll get to try a scone at Cabra Castle someday!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, I love that you don't have to go far in England to hear a different accent. You have to go many miles, sometimes several states away, in the US to find one.

Louca por porcelana said...

Hi Jean!I would love to have tea with scooones with you!Thanks for the tutorial.Gorgeous china!Hugs!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Quinn, I quite agree with you--I don't want chocolate chips in my scones and I love dried cherries. I often make this recipe with chopped dried cherries instead of the currants and orange zest.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Maristela! And I hope you'll tell us sometime how many different china patterns you have in your collection.

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

Jean, these scones look beautiful. Pinning. I hope to try them very soon. I've only made them twice, and mound was the shape. I need to try that wedge. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lea Ann, thanks so much. I love the wedges. Let me know how they turn out for you.

Stephanie said...

My dear Jean, your scones look positively wonderful! You have inspired me to make some very soon.

I hope you are well and enjoying your summer. Happy August! Hugs

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Stephanie, thank you so much. Funny, I was just thinking about you yesterday and planning to visit your blog this weekend!

Pauline Wiles said...

Thank you for posting this at beginner level, Jean. I think you know I generally prefer round scones but I think I'll try the wedge version to avoid the dangers in over-handling the dough after cutting the first circles.

Jeanie said...

Thanks, Jean. I'm bookmarking this one for when I'm home and have all my baking equipment. THey look delicious and your instructions, as always, are impeccable. Thanks.

Chip Butter said...

I have so wanted to know more about scones. Thank you for this tutorial. Yours look wonderfully delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pauline, thank you. And do let me know how you like the wedges!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, thank you. I hope you'll like them. And do let me know if I've left out anything in the instructions.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Chip, thank you. I hope you'll try them soon with a nice cup of tea!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hello Jean! Your scones look lovely! I make my scones both ways; round and wedges. Just depends on my mood, I guess. I almost always drizzle glaze over the scones or sprinkle on a little sugar. Hubby prefers the glaze whereas I prefer them without. I like serving fruit scones at Christmastime. Seems that time of year, I use fruit in everything; cookies, fruitcake, puddings, etc. This time of year for whatever reason, I like plain with jam and whipped cream or clotted cream. They really are a treat with tea or coffee. Enjoy your weekend.

Kirsty Hall said...

This looks amazing. I love scones and will definitely be giving them a go. Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandi, thank you! I do like a plain scone as well--especially with a little jam and a lot of cream!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Kirsty! And do let me know how they turn out for you!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

I'm always happy to read and think about scones, largely because I've had so many happy times eating them. A scone (or two) for elevenses is an excellent choice although scones for afternoon tea suits me even better. Of course, the major controversy in the UK (at least in Devon and Cornwall) is do you add the jam or the cream to the scone first. The Cornish way is jam first but cream first (clotted, naturally) is favoured in Devon. I prefer jam first and, I'm led to believe, so does Her Majesty the Queen and there's no arguing with that. Funnily enough we've been making mini scones today with some added dried seaweed to serve alongside cocktails.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Phil, I'm afraid I'm with Devon on this issue. I like to put on a generous amount of clotted cream, then top that with just a little jam or curd. Your savoury cocktail scones sound delightful!

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

I hate to admit this but I've never made scones nor have I tasted them. I know!! Just think of all I've missed. You make it appear so easy!! I do love my tea, I think I'll have to make some soon. What flavor would you suggest for my first time?

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marisa, before you venture out into the *fresh* fruit scones, master *this* recipe. The dried fruit, citrus zest and vanilla extract are optional; you can use any or all of them or go strictly plain. Make the same recipe repeatedly in order to get it down, then branch out.

Lisa Pomerantz said...

The one glutenous item i miss the most, since being gluten free, is the glorious and delish scone. You have me watering at the mouth! #triumphanttales xoxo

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lisa, then you need to make my Gluten-Free Scones--everybody raves about them. I made them for a big tea party, and even the non-GF guests were gobbling them up and asking for the recipe!

Margie said...

I'll eat scones of any shape! I like both plain and fruit scones, but also enjoy savoury scones like bacon and chives. Last week, one of the bakeries was selling bacon and chocolate chip (!) scones. I'll try anything once. HA!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margie, I almost never make savoury scones, but when I do, it's bacon and cheese and herbs. I don't like chocolate chip scones--with our without bacon!

Cheryl said...

I LOVE scones and have made them from scratch several times from multiple recipes. Even though I know they are supposed to be drier or barely mixed, mine are always just crumbly so that I cannot get a round anything. Might it be the altitude here in Denver?

Kinga K. said...

They're perfect ❤

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cheryl, you will need more liquid at that altitude. And this recipe with an egg will work much better for you than those recipes without egg. Follow this recipe exactly, and in step 3 add more milk just a tablespoon at a time. Let me know how it goes; we'll make this work for you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Kinga!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

I was never a fan of scones until I made your classic scones! I always thought of them as dry. Your classic scone recipe is on my favorites list. Now that you brought it up I just might make a batch! Thanks, Jean!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sue, that's quite an endorsement! Thanks so much. And, yes, do make a batch today!

Roosterhead Designs said...

Hello Jean,
I am a fan of scones; but have never tried to make them myself;
I always thought it would be very 'tricky' to get them right.
It's nice to know I have a trusty source now : ) Thanks for
sharing. (I appreciate you and your visit to my blog [via Stephanie's])
karen o

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, thanks so much. I hope you'll try the scones soon and let me know how they turned out for you.

ellen b. said...

Classic is good! Thanks for the tutorial.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Who doesn’t love a good score? Even Mrs. Mummy Harris has come around! I suppose recipes for scones are like recipes for chicken soup… there are many out there, and so many are good! I look forward to trying yours… With clotted cream and strawberry (always) jam.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

You've reminded me, David, I need to get down to business and put up a batch of strawberry jam! My jam cupboard is bare--down to a single jar of marmalade. Hope you try these soon!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ellen, thank you!

Kids, Cuddles and Muddy Puddles said...

These look great! I like the idea of using the wedge shape so there is no waste - very clever! I think I might even be able to give these a go with your fab tutorial, thank you! #AnythingGoes

Julie Caron said...

We love making scones in the weekends. I'll have to try your recipe. Thanks for linking up with me this week.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Puddles! With round scones, the ones made with rerolled scraps of dough are never as good as the ones from the first cutting. Do try these!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Julie, thank you. And do let me know how they turn out for you.

Tarahlynn said...

Thanks for sharing with us at the To Grandma's house we go link party!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tarah. I always enjoy the party!

Laura Dembowski said...

You have presented these scones in such a beautiful way! Love the addition to dried fruit.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Laura! Wish I had one right now with my cup of tea!

Miz Helen said...

Your tutorial for scones looks awesome, I just love scones! Hope you are having a wonderful week and thanks so much for posting with Full Plate Thursday!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Miz Helen. See you Thursday with something cool!

Fran @ Gday Souffle said...

Amazing! I didn't know there was so much technique in making scones. I have never made them before but have always enjoyed the scones and cream combination offered in cafes. Americans pronounce 'scones' with a long 'o' sound, while Ozzies and British pronounce it with a short vowel sound (as in 'scahns').... funny!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Fran! I hope you'll try these. I used to say 'scahns' (probably picked up from my English gran) but so many people here (US) "corrected" me that I gave up and went over to the long O!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Great post! I've had scones, often, but have never made them. Wonderful tutorial. I'm all for the wedge shape -- easier, and no waste, as you say. I always cut my biscuits into squares rather than rounds for the same reason!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, John. I make square biscuits, too! Great minds and all that, I guess!

Lucy At Home Blog said...

I love scones - such a classic, and so versatile too. Hubby and I went for an afternoon tea last week and the scones were absolutely one of my favourite bits! #blogcrush

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lucy, a good scone *makes* an afternoon tea for me--I don't need any of the little sweet treats, just scones and sandwiches and lots of tea!

rosetintedramblings.blog said...

there really is nothing quite like a well made British fruit scone with a thick layer of butter and some home made strawberry jam. I am off to try your recipe now. #anythinggoes

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Berni, thank you. I hope you'll like it. As you say, there really is nothing quite like ...

Connie said...

I always enjoy scones, but I never thought to make them! These seem really doable. Thanks for the recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, Connie, definitely doable! I hope you'll try them soon and let me know how they turned out for you.

Debbie Harris said...

Hello Jean ~
I have saved this posting for weeks knowing I would one day get to reading it, and I'm finally here!
Thank you for this fabulous tutorial! I especially liked the idea of grating the butter, I will remember that for other recipes, great tip!

Your scones look delicious! :}

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Debbie! You just made my day! I'm so glad you found a helpful tip.

Michele Martin said...

Is it possible to make the scone and refrigerate PRIOR to baking so they'll be piping hot when served? I'm planning a afternoon tea party shower for 15 women and I'd like to make it easier on me.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Michele, it's very late right now, but I will answer your question tomorrow!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Michele, do a little experimenting before the shower. The problem with refrigerating the unbaked scones prior to baking is that after a certain amount of time the baking powder might lose some of its oomph.

you can freeze scones baked or unbaked. To reheat frozen baked scones, thaw the scones wrapped. Preheat oven to 300F/150C/Gas2. Reheat, loosely wrapped in foil, for about 10 minutes.

To bake frozen unbaked scones, no need to thaw. Remove desired number of unbaked scones from freezer and place them on parchment-lined baking sheet to warm up a bit while the oven is preheating. Follow the preheating and baking instructions in my recipe. You'll probably need to add 2 or 3 minutes to the baking time.

Let me know how it goes!

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