Classic English Scones
(from age 4)
Extracted and adapted from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4622/classic-scones-with-jam-and-clotted-cream
The first time we made this, I was not sure how it was going to turn out. After all, I had heard of so many failed attempts at scones that I was not sure it was going to work. Yet this, did not only work, it was actually, pretty amazing.
Rubbing butter in to flour to make it look like breadcrumbs is like every child’s dream of ‘getting their hands dirty’. A bit like sand-play, except with a very yummy, edible result.
My four-year-old at the time, really enjoyed mixing the butter in to the flour with her fingers, but found the ‘wet’ mixture a bit frustrating as it was very sticky. We continued mixing with our hands even though the recipe recommended using a cutlery knife.
The mix did come together in the end. There is a slight chance of over-kneading, but you can always rest the dough for a little while if you’re worried about that. I never did.
We used the smallest size, crimped edge cutters for cute, pretty little scones. Do be careful if you have double edge cutters as some can be quite sharp.
I have also been known to cut the scone shapes directly out of the mixing bowl (less mess) once the dough had been ‘spread out’ to about the recommended 4cm thickness.
It is recommended to bake the scones on a pre-heated baking tray. However, I have done it both ways and only very occasionally see a difference. If your child would like to help with the lining up the scones on the baking tray and glazing them with egg wash, then probably safest to use a ‘cold’ baking tray.
Tip: If you like me, only keep all-purpose flour at home, add 5 1/4 teaspoons of baking power in total.
Using the smallest cutters, we always end up with about 16-18 scones.
Add some butter and strawberry jam, a pot of tea, invite some friends, or teddies to tea and have the perfect English afternoon tea party!
Ingredients and tools
- 350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 85g butter, cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 175ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- squeeze lemon juice
- beaten egg, to glaze
- jam and clotted cream, to serve
- Mixing bowl
- Baking trays
- Scone cutters
- Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
- Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix.
- Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot.
- Add the vanilla and lemon juice, then set aside for a moment.
- Put a baking sheet in the oven (optional). As mentioned above, if you have a slightly older child who would like to help place the scones on the tray and brush on the egg-wash, skip this step and use a cold tray at the end.
- Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly. It is recommended to do this with a cutlery knife as it will seem pretty wet at first. However, this is one of the most fun parts of the process for children. They can continue to squish the mixture together. It will stick to their hands and fingers, a lot, but as the mixture is worked through, it will start to come together as a dough.
- Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out.
- Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother.
- Pat into a flatter shape that is about 2 1/2 cm deep.
- Take a 5cm (or smaller) cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour.
- Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have several scones.
- You may need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four.
- Place carefully onto the hot or cold baking tray and rush the tops with beaten egg .
- Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm or cold on the day of baking, generously topped with jam and clotted cream.
- If freezing, freeze once cool. Defrost, then put in a low oven (about 160C/fan140C/gas 3) for a few mins to refresh.