Sunday, 13 July 2008

Tea Time Scones

The sun has been shining today and that really is a surprise, even though it is July. It's the time of year that you should expect a guarantee of sunshine but this year the weather has been dreadful So by way of a celebration we are having tea in the garden with the speciality of the British cream teas: scones.
This one is brimming with cream and home made jam which makes anyone, even those with iron wills, unable to resist taking a mouthful.

To make these scones you will need:

225g/8 oz self-raising flour

1/4 tsp salt

50g/2 oz butter

50g sugar

1 egg

100ml milk, plus extra to glaze

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425 F/Gas 7. If you are using a convection/fan oven drop the temperature 25 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.
  2. Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Rub in the butter and sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the flour and break in the egg gradually pour in most of the milk, mixing quickly with the tips of your fingers as you pour. DO NOT ADD ALL THE MILK AT ONCE. You should get a soft but not wet dough. It should look rough. If the dough is too wet it will expand sideways instead of rising straight up.
  3. On a lightly floured board, gently bring together the dough and roll or press out until it’s 2.5cm/1 inch thick and stamp out into rounds. I used a 4cm/2 inch cutter and made 7 rounds. In between each stamp, dip the cutter in flour and with a firm shake downwards release the scone directly onto the baking sheet- try not to press with your fingers or you will misshape the dough. It is also important to cut directly down into the dough, if you twist then they will rise unevenly. Another important point is to roll the dough out evenly. If the dough is on a slope before you cut out the scones, then the finished scone will also be like a downhill ski slope.
  4. Place on the baking sheet and brush with extra milk. Depending on size bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and golden.

If you've made them the right way then this is what they should look like. If you haven't then who cares if they are a bit lumpy as they will taste good even if they look like a landslide.