Sadie, a former inner city inhabitant, is now the quintessential farmhouse cook always coming up with ways to perfect scones. This version was made when we only had a campfire to cook on, but she still wants to get a really flaky version hence the folding and hitting of the dough. Matthew Evans, Gourmet Farmer Series 4
If you're a sucker for flaky and buttery genius, then this is one recipe you'll have to master.
- 300 g (2 cups) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 80 g unsalted butter, chilled and finely diced
- 2 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 200 ml full cream milk (see Note), plus extra for brushing
- jam and butter or lightly 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.
Heat a camp oven to pretty hot with coals on the top and bottom (or preheat an oven to 220˚C).
Place the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a bowl. Using fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until about half rubbed in. You want some bigger bits of butter too. Add the milk and knead just until the dough comes together. Place on a floured work surface and roll it hardly at all, then hit it with a rolling pin to make a 20 cm square. Fold the dough in half, then turn it around a quarter turn (so the left hand side is now the front edge) and hit (and rolled if really needs be) again until it is about 20 cm square. Fold and turn again in the same direction, then hit, fold and turn twice more. This hitting and folding manages to sandwich butter and air between the layers. After the last turn, hit and roll to create a nice evenly thick dough about 2 cm-thick. Cut into 5 cm squares.
Flour the base of the camp oven and lay the scones inside (don’t put them too close to the side or that bit will burn). Brush the tops with milk, cover with the lids and put the oven on the coals with more coals on top. Cook for 10-15 minutes, but check after 6-8 minutes as the heat can be very variable.
If using a normal oven, place the scones on a floured baking tray, close enough that the scones will barely touch when cooked. Brush the tops with a little milk and bake for 10-15 minutes or until starting to colour on the top and bottom.
Serve warm or cool with butter and jam (or perhaps cream if you milked the cow early enough in the day to be able to separate the cream).
• To approximate the milk we use from Elsie our Guernsey cow, try using 150 ml and 50 ml cream.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok. Creative concept by Belinda So.