A recipe from the Good Food collection.
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- Preheat the oven to hot 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Rub in the butter, using your fingertips, until the mixture is fine and crumbly. Make a well in the centre of the mixture.
- Lightly beat the egg and milk in a small bowl. Pour almost all the egg mixture into the well. Mix lightly with a flat-bladed knife to form a soft dough, adding the remaining egg mixture if needed.
- Gather the dough together and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Press out the dough until it is 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. Cut out rounds with a floured 5 cm (2 inch) cutter.
- Heat a baking tray in the oven for 5 minutes. Place the rounds on the heated tray, leaving a little room for spreading. Brush with the extra milk. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. If you are serving the scones warm, straight from the oven, wrap them in a clean tea towel while still hot. Serve warm or cold, with butter or with cream and jam or strawberries.
VARIATIONS: For sultana scones, add 1 cup (125 g/4 oz) sultanas in step 1 when you sift the flour into the bowl. For date scones, add 1 cup (185 g/6 oz) finely chopped pitted dates to the flour in step 1. For wholemeal scones, replace one of the cups of flour with wholemeal self-raising flour. For cheese scones, add 1 cup (125 g/4 oz) grated Cheddar cheese to the flour in step 1.
The secret to making perfect scones is to use a light touch and handle the dough as little as possible. Do not knead the dough. Merely turn it out onto a floured surface and then press out before cutting into rounds.