Sunday, January 24, 2010
I've always thought of scones as something quintessentially British...big fat scones, hot from the oven, slathered with butter and clotted cream, and finished with a large dollop of sweet, sticky strawberry jam. I remember having them at fancy hotels, feeling so important. My mum would tell me to add milk to my tea because it's the proper English way...and even though I found the taste of milky tea absolutely revolting, I would do it anyway, so intent was I to be all grown up, just like the ladies in the period films I so loved. I like milky tea now, and the idea of freshly baked scones with a nice cup of tea is enough to make me get out of bed at 7 o'clock on a Saturday morning ;)
500g self raising flour
100g very very cold butter, cubed
pinch of salt
big pinch of baking powder
about 2 teaspoons sugar
very very cold milk
[ there are no precise measurements as I've done this so many times it's more by feel now]
1. Preheat oven to 220
2. Sift flour and baking powder
3. Add butter and rub gently, using just the tips of your fingers, 'Lifting' the flour as you rub and letting it float back down. The idea of a light touch is so you get lots of air in there and so the fat doesn't melt. I've got really cold hands, great for pastry, not so great for my patients.
4. Once you get a loose mixture that resembles breadcrumbs, stir in the salt and sugar
5. Now add the milk slowly, bringing the dough together, not so much kneading as lightly patting everything together. Start with say..100 ml of milk and then add as you go along until you get a smooth dough.
6. Press it onto a well greased baking tray, so you get a large square that's about an inch thick, cut into smaller squares.. I do about 9-12....but that depends how large you want your scones to be.
7. Brush the top with milk and bake for 12-15 minutes.
8. Don't bother letting it cool, don't bother with a knife, just break it open, cut a fat wedge of butter and watch it melt into the steaming scone........I think I'm going to go have another one now..