This Morning: Candice Brown on how to make ‘perfect’ scones
Among popular baked goods, scones are uniquely delicious in their humble simplicity.
Mary Berry’s “easy” scone recipe is available at BBC Food and it notes that it makes 16 small scones, taking between 10 to 30 minutes to cook. Preparing the scones doesn’t take long either – this should be done in under 30 minutes.
The description reads: “Mary Berry’s scones are the perfect easy tea-time treat, whether jam-and-cream-topped (in whichever order you like), plain or packed with sultanas.”
With not being an avid baker, I was intrigued to see how simple it would be to follow her recipe, given that the ingredient list is small and the method is short.
450g self-rising flour
Two level teaspoons baking powder
50g caster sugar
100g butter, cut into pieces
A little milk
Handful of sultanas (optional)
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To begin with I started by preheating my fan oven to 200C, which is equivalent to gas mark seven and 220C for an electric oven.
I then used baking parchment to line two baking trays to avoid the scones sticking to them.
After measuring out all of the ingredients, I added the flour, baking powder and sugar to a large bowl.
The next step was to add in the butter. To make it easier for the next step, it’s important that the butter is cut up into pieces.
It is easier if the butter is in smaller pieces as this is when you have to rub the dry ingredients with the butter. I kept doing this until the mixture resembled fine breadcrumbs, which did not take long at all.
Once the bread-like mixture looked ready, I cracked both eggs into a measuring jug, then added in enough milk to make the total liquid 300ml.
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To begin with, I used a fork to stir the egg and milk into the dry ingredients, then I went in with my hands to combine the ingredients until it formed a soft, sticky dough – this was probably the messiest part.
When the dough was at this point, I floured my worktop slightly so that I could knead the dough lightly, and I mean very lightly as there is the highly common risk of over-working the dough which will result in tough and stodgy scones.
Once the dough had come together, I rolled it out to about 2cm thick or you can go slightly thicker if you would like.
After the dough was rolled out, I grabbed the cutter to get as many rounds as possible out of the dough and placed them on the prepared baking trays. As my cutters were slightly larger than those used in the recipe I made 13 medium scones rather than 16 small ones.
Before popping both trays into the oven, I brushed the tops of the scones with a little extra egg. This gave the scones a crisp, slightly caramelised-looking exterior.
The recipe said to bake them for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the scones are “well risen and a pale, golden-brown colour”. I found that my scones were ready after 12 minutes. Taking the scones out of the oven, I was so surprised at how good they looked for my first time making them.
Immediately after removing them from the oven, I placed the scones onto a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, I cut the scones in half and served them with a good dollop of clotted cream and strawberry jam.
Going in for the taste test, thankfully they were not dry or crumbly. The scones had a crisp outer layer and were soft and tender on the inside.
The only thing I would do differently when making these sones again is probably add sultanas to them, which the recipe does recommend.
I never would have thought so, but scones really are easy to make and, if you don’t mind getting your hands a bit dirty, it’s possible to make a batch of scones and have it ready to serve in less than 30 minutes with this recipe.
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