Scones, very popular in the United Kingdom, are frequently served at breakfast or with afternoon tea. Scones were originally made with Scottish oats and cooked on a griddle. Now, they are usually made with flour and baked in an oven. Whether sweet or savory, scones are like tender biscuits and typically have a flaky, slightly cakelike texture.
“Scones” or as they pronounce it in England and Scotland, “scones” are traditionally served warm, split open, and topped with fruit preserves, clotted cream or lemon curd. The secret to making tender scones is to use very cold butter and a very light touch. ** Do not over blend or over touch. You don’t want the warmth of your hands to melt the butter. The flakiest scones occur when the cold butter melts in the dough as it bakes in the oven.
You could buy a fancy scone pan or scone biscuit cutters. But a cookie sheet and knife work just fine. Bake some scones, brew a cup of tea, and enjoy!
An Englishman’s Cheese Scones
My friend Ron Dickson, from Northern England, makes the most wonderful cheese scones.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. dried mustard
3/4 stick (6 oz.) cold butter, cut into small chunks
5 ounces grated cheddar cheese
¾ cup milk plus more to brush on top
Preheat oven to 400° F. Mix dry ingredients until well blended. Add butter and work into flour using two forks or a pastry blender until well combined. Add 4 ounces of the cheese. Add milk a bit at a time until mixture holds together in a crumbly ball.
Lightly dust a board with flour and turn the dough onto the board. Using a rolling pin, roll into a circle about ½ inch thick. Cut the dough into circles using a biscuit cutter. Place on a greased sheet pan. Brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely browned.