July 30, 2016

British-Style Scones


Since returning from London a week ago I've made this scone recipe no less than four times.  Yes, it's that good.   But who am I kidding?  While I do love how they taste they're really more of a vehicle for clotted cream and jam.  Yes, I am one of those crazy people who brings back 8 tubs of Rodda's in my checked luggage.   Thank goodness I wasn't stopped by customs!


Unlike the American version, British-style scones are less sweet and more fluffy and biscuit-like.  My favorite dessert after dinner when I was in the UK was having a scone smothered with a heap of clotted cream and jam.  Absolute heaven I tell you. 


This recipe from Cook's Illustrated is as authentic as any scone you'd find in an English tea salon.  They're quite simple to make and the taste will transport you to ol' Blighty, I promise.  Fresh clotted cream may be challenging to find in the States, which is why I bring a supply back with me, but these scones are just as delicious with butter and jam.  Give them a try, you won't regret it!




British-Style Scones

Makes 12 scones

3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
cup (2 ⅓ ounces) sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 ounces), cut into ½-inch pieces and softened
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
 
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 pulses. Add butter and pulse until fully incorporated and mixture looks like very fine crumbs with no visible butter, about 20 pulses. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
 
Whisk milk and eggs together in second bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons milk mixture. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and, using rubber spatula, fold together until almost no dry bits of flour remain.
 
Transfer dough to well-floured counter and gather into ball. With floured hands, knead until surface is smooth and free of cracks, 25 to 30 times. Press gently to form disk. Using floured rolling pin, roll disk into 9-inch round, about 1 inch thick. Using floured 2 1/2-inch round cutter, stamp out 8 rounds, recoating cutter with flour if it begins to stick. Arrange scones on prepared sheet. Gather dough scraps, form into ball, and knead gently until surface is smooth. Roll dough to 1-inch thickness and stamp out 4 rounds. Discard remaining dough.
 
Brush tops of scones with reserved milk mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake scones until risen and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer scones to wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve scones warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. Lesley7/31/2016

    I'm British and please don't overknead as Cooks Illustrated tell you to, the dough should barely be touched. My mother-in-law made the lightest, fluffiest of scones you could imagine her hands and the rolling pin barely touched the dough. Also the milk should only go on the top, otherwise you won't get the split around the middle. Cooks Illustrated or ATK or Cooks Country give a variation of currants - again don't - currants are for buns! You should use sultanas instead, the mellow sweetness is much better suited to the clotted cream and jam.

    Incidentally, for your readers there are recipes for homemade clotted cream on the web - just don't bother. Splash out and try and source the real thing.

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