How to make scones

Video guide to homemade scones

Hi, I'm Lisa. For the most English of English treats, it's simply hard to beat scones loaded with lashings of clotted cream and fresh strawberries. They really are the perfect afternoon treat.

The secret to the perfect scone

Now, the secret to a perfect, well-risen scone is all in a light touch, so handle the mixture as little as possible for perfect results every time.

Ingredients for scones

To make eight to ten scones, what you're going to need is 350g of plain flour in a large bowl, two teaspoons of baking powder, a pinch of salt brings out the flavour, 40g of caster sugar, 75g of butter and 175mls of milk. I've also got a beaten egg, which I'm going to use for a glaze.

Now, that mix will get you plain scones but you can also use dried fruit to add a bit of texture and flavour, so about 50g of chopped up fine apricots or some mixed peel. I'm actually going to use sultanas today.

So before we start, what you need to do is pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees, or 180 if it's fan assisted. And I'm going to add in my ingredients, so I'm going to add my baking powder to my flour and then I'm going to add a little pinch of salt. Salt's great because it just brings out the flavour, just a little pinch. Then I'm going to add my caster sugar and my butter. Now I've chopped up the butter to make it easy to mix in.

Lightly crumb the butter and dry ingredients

I'm going to use my fingertips to make a nice crumb with the butter. A little tip for you, if the butter's nice and soft, it's going to make this job a lot easier. What I'm looking for is a crumb-like texture. I'm just going to use my fingertips. You'll also notice that I'm lifting the mixture out of the bowl, because I'm trying to get as much air into the mix as possible, because that will create a really light and fluffy scone.

For a sweeter scone, what you can do at this point is add half a teaspoon of black treacle to the milk or another thing you can add whole raspberries and they add a really beautiful vibrant colour, but be careful when you're mixing the dough because you don't want to damage the fruit.

Add sultanas and milk

So I think that's about ready, so right now I'm going to add in my sultanas. And I'm going to pour the milk in a bit at a time. I'm going to use my hands but if you don't want to get too messy, you can use a spoon as well. The mixture should come together quite easily, you don't want to overwork it. You shouldn't need to squeeze the mixture. Add a little bit more milk. And what I'm looking for is a firm dough, so I'm going to work that in.

So that's starting to come together now perfectly so what I'm going to do is just wipe down my hands and then I'm going to flour my clean surface and turn out the dough.

Cut the dough

So what I'm going to do is pat it down into a circle shape, quite gently. Make it nice and round. I'm going to use a 5cm straight cutter, I've also got a non-stick baking tray as well. The best way to get a really clean edge is to firmly press down through the dough and then, as you pull out, give it a little twist and then push it out gently. That's my first scone, I'll just place that on my baking tray.

Again, what you want to do is press down firmly, give it a twist, pick it up and then gently press it out. Perfect. Going to line them up nicely, I'm just going to cut out the rest.

Leave a centimetre between each scone, because that will leave them room to expand once they're in the oven. Savoury scones are equally delicious. All you need to do is exclude the sultanas and use some grated hard cheese like Emmental or Gruyere. You could also add a pinch of paprika or some herbs, such as some dried rosemary or thyme. Just use your imagination and what you like.

Glaze the scones

So that's my last one, so I'm going to brush with the beaten egg to give a beautiful glaze. If you want more of a rustic look, you can sprinkle some flour on the top. Also, if you like a sweeter scone, you can use some Demerara sugar and that will form a lovely sweet crust as it bakes. If you're making savoury scones, you can also grate some parmesan cheese just before you put them into the oven and that will create a lovely cheesy crust on top of your scones as well.

So there you go, just the last few there, painting that on. So I'm going to place these in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they're nice and golden.

Serve with fresh strawberries and cream

So my scones have come out of the oven and they smell absolutely amazing. They've been cooling for around 15 minutes and I've got some clotted cream and I'm not going to use jam today, I'm actually going to use fresh strawberries for my filling. I'm just going to chop the end off and then cut them into a few slices. Perfect and take one of my scones and cut it in half. They do smell so good. I'm going to use the clotted cream on each side, big dollop there, lovely, perfect. Couple of slices of fresh strawberry.

So there you have it, homemade scones with clotted cream and fresh strawberries.

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