The original scone was round and flat, usually the size of a medium size plate. It was made with unleavened oats and baked on a griddle (or girdle, in Scots), then cut into triangle-like quadrants for serving. Today, many would call the large round cake a bannock, and call the quadrants scones. In Scotland, the words are often used interchangeably. When baking powder became available to the masses, scones began to be the oven-baked, well-leavened items we know today.[Modern scones are widely available in British and Irish bakeries, grocery stores, and supermarkets. A 2005 market report estimated the UK scone market to be worth £64m. If you are ever in Devon don’t miss out on their crean teas, fresh scones with jam and clotted cream
Makes eight to 10 The secret to good scones is not to handle them too much before baking, and to make the mixture on the wet, sticky side.
- 450g (1lb) self-raising flour
- 2 rounded tsp baking powder
- 75g (3oz) butter
- 50g (2oz) caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- about 225ml (8fl oz) milk
- raspberry jam
- clotted cream or double cream, whipped
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.
- Lightly grease two baking-sheets.
- Put the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
- Add the butter and rub it in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs together and make up to 300ml (10fl oz) with the milk, then put about 2 tbsp aside in a cup for later.
- Gradually add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring it in until you have a soft dough. It is far better that the scone mixture is on the wet side, sticking to your fingers, as the scones will rise better.
- Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and flatten it to a thickness of 1-2cm (½-1in).
- Use a 5cm (2in) fluted cutter to stamp out the scones by pushing it straight down into the dough (as opposed to twisting it), then lifting it straight out. This ensures that they rise evenly.
- Gently push the remaining dough together, knead lightly, reroll and cut out more.
- Arrange on the prepared baking-sheets and brush the tops with the reserved beaten egg mixture to glaze.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until well risen and golden, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool, covered with a clean tea towel to keep them moist.
- Serve as fresh as possible, cut in half and spread generously with strawberry jam. Top with a good spoonful of thick cream as well, if you like.