A real scone does not resemble a hockey puck. A real scone is flaky and delicious and moist, slightly sweet, and marvelous with butter or honey or clotted cream. Mmmmmm. This recipe was handed to me by a zelous Englishman, who ought to know how a scone should be. And now I share it with you.
1 lb cake flour
1 lb bread flour
1.6 oz baking powder
1/4 t nutmeg
6 oz of butter
7 oz sugar
2 c milk
1/2 t vanilla
1 lemon zest
You may also want some (1/2 c) currants soaked in rum (2 t), chocolate chips, whatever. I like mine plain. Your mileage may vary.
Before you even think of making these, take your butter - salted, since there is no other salt in this recipe - and cut it into small cubes. And chill it while you do everything else. You need the butter to be VERY COLD. And only when it's very cold should you go ahead and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
1. Sift all the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg together. Yes, it's important that you sift. You way work in a bowl, or on a countertop - we're going to get that countertop messy anyway, so might as well not dirty up a bowl.
2. Take your very cold butter, and rub it into the flour. Yep. Rub. Take it in your fingers, and work the bits of butter in the flour until you can't see bits of butter anymore. Work fast, if you can. Your mix shoudl look kinda like cornmeal when you're done. Powdery and slightly yellowed.
3. Make a well in the center of your flour, and crack in an egg. Mix it in a bit.
4. Mix in the sugar.
5. Make a well again, and add the milk. Do not overmix this. Just mish it together until it starts to make a dough. Yes, your hands will be a right mess when you're done.
6. Add the vanilla and lemon zest, and anything else you've dreamed up for these puppies.
7. Turn it out onto a floured work surface if you haven't already. The idea here is to mix it with your hands JUST until it comes together as a dough and not a MOMENT more. Overmixing is EVIL. It leads to tough scones and heartache.
8. Form 'em! Roll the dough out no thinner than an inch thick. My chef recommended 10 inch rounds, cut into six pie slices. I like six inch rounds cut into fourths, myself. It leads to a much more manageable sized scone, in my opinion. I wanna eat a scone, not make a career out of it. You could totally just roll them out and cut them with a biscuit cutter if you wanted to. Reroll the trimming of this dough only ONCE. Then bake the scraps as a snack or something. You really don't want to overwork this dough. Have I stressed that enough?
9. Egg wash with a little bit of egg and water or milk. About one egg to a tablespoon of water or milk. You can then sprinkle them with sugar if you want to.
10. Bake on parchment or a nonstick cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 13 - 15 minutes.
mmmmmmmmmmm proper scones. They are UTTERLY delicious, and I love the lemon zest in them when theyr'e plain. You can also use lime zest, orange zest, whatever. They're magically delicious.
All hail to Chef Ian.