Everybody loves a scone – especially when warm from the oven. Even though they have a reputation for being tricky to make, in reality they're fast and simple, especially when you have a good recipe like this one. The secret to the lightness of these scones is the cream – a trick I learnt many years ago.
- 300 g (2 cups) self-raising flour, plus extra, to dust
- pinch of salt
- 50 g butter, cubed, softened slightly
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) milk (see Baker's tips)
- 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream, plus extra, to glaze
- 1 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
- berry jam and whipped cream, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with non–stick baking paper.
Put the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and the butter is evenly incorporated. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre.
Combine the milk, cream and vanilla, add to the flour mixture and use a flat-bladed knife to mix with a cutting action until the dough comes together in clumps.
Use lightly floured hands to bring the dough together – it will be soft, but not sticky. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly and briefly (only about 6 times) to bring it together in a smooth ball.
Use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough out to about 2 cm thick. Using a floured 6 cm round cutter, cut the dough into 9 rounds (see Baker's tips). Gather the offcuts and, without over-handling, press out as before, if necessary. Place on the prepared tray, about 2 cm apart. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the top of each scone with a little extra cream, then dust with a little extra flour.
Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until the scones are lightly golden and cooked through; they are ready if they sound hollow when you tap them on the base. Serve warm or at room temperature, halved and topped with jam and cream.
• For lemonade scones, omit the sugar and replace the milk with the same quantity of lemonade.
• When cutting out the scones, don’t twist the cutter as this will cause the scones to rise unevenly.
• These scones are best eaten on the day they are made.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Kristine Duran-Thiesse. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Scones.