Baking

Classic scones

Whip up a batch of classic scones and pair with jam and whipped cream for a timeless treat that's perfect for an afternoon tea or snack
Classic scones
16 small or 8 large
15M
20M
35M

Ingredients

DAINTY SCONES (MAKES 16)
IMPRESSIVE SCONES (MAKES 8)

Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan. For dainty scones, grease a 20cm square cake pan. For impressive scones, grease a large oven tray.

Step 2

Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Rub in butter. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add buttermilk. Using a knife, cut buttermilk through flour mixture to form a soft, sticky dough (add a little more buttermilk only if needed). Gently knead dough on a floured surface until smooth.

Step 3

For dainty scones, roll or pat dough out to approximately 2cm thick. Cut 5cm rounds from dough and place side by side in cake pan. Gently knead scraps of dough together. Repeat pressing and cutting; place in pan. Brush tops with a little extra buttermilk. For impressive scones, roll or pat dough out to approximately 3cm thick. Cut 7cm rounds from dough and place side by side on oven tray. Gently knead scraps of dough together. Repeat pressing and cutting; place on tray. Brush tops with a little extra buttermilk.

Step 4

Bake dainty scones for 18 minutes, impressive scones for 22 minutes or until golden and scones sound hollow when tapped with fingers. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with jam and whipped cream.

Dainty or impressive?

The holy grail of a great scone is a light, fluffy interior and good rise. Choose your scone style, depending on the occasion: Make a smaller “dainty” scone for afternoon tea when there are other treats on offer or go for a large “impressive” size when it’s all about the scone. And, of course, serve both with lashings of whipped cream or butter and strawberry jam.

Variation

Make either dainty or impressive scones, adding 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and using 2 tablespoons brown sugar instead of caster sugar, and adding ⅓ cup finely chopped dried pitted dates with the buttermilk.

The trick to beautiful, light scones is to handle the dough as little as possible.

To ensure scones rise evenly with straight sides, cut out the scones using a sharp metal cutter; remove the cutter in an upward rather than a twisting motion.

From the Test Kitchen

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