The Kitchen has taken on the challenge of finding the perfect scone. Naturally my quest has begun with more questions than answers. Is the perfect scone filled with fruit and nuts? Cheese and bacon? Is it glazed? Is it cakey or crumbly? What about shape and size? I soon discovered that these sorts of questions could be answered only by a scone expert.
I am a Scottish lass. A Scottish lass knows a proper haggis when she sees one but to build a better scone she must consult the English. The English know a good scone when they bite into it. Fortunately I know just the lady to dial up.
After presenting my perfect scone challenge to my friend, The English Lady, she insisted that the perfect scone is tender and slightly sweet but not at all cakey or crumbly. It is rather plain and is the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon tea.
Because the English Lady knows all about scones, The Kitchen will start out with a plain scone cut in a two inch round. Nothing fancy, just a scone. The English Lady told me to step aside and let the tea take center stage. The scone, she said is a slightly sweet add-on. It is not easy for a baker to put her creations on the sidelines. But I will. In the interest of discovering the perfect scone, I will step aside. I will step aside. I will step aside.
My scones will play a supporting role. The tea will take center stage.
I will step aside. I will step aside.
The English Lady’s Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, cold
⅔ cup milk
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 425°.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized mixing bowl. Cut the chilled butter into 8-10 pieces and drop into the flour mixture. Rub the butter into flour until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Add the milk and stir in with a wooden spoon just until the dough comes together.
Place the dough on a lightly floured countertop. Dust the dough with a bit of flour and then pat into a round that is 1 inch thick. Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut the scones. Gather the remaining dough and gently pat down to cut more scones. Pat the final bit of dough into a 1 inch scone.
Place the rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let the scones rest for 15 minutes before baking.
Immediately before baking scones brush them with the egg yolk and milk mixture. Optional: Sprinkle tops with sugar.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Let the baked scones cool for 30 minutes before serving. To create a softer scone cover them with a tea towel as they cool.
These scones are great served with clotted cream and sliced strawberries or jam. I love them with lemon curd. I wonder if The English Lady would approve.