Scones are like potato salad. How? (might you ask). It seems that everyone has a different take on how they should be made, flavor and textures are sacrosanct, and Lord help you if the family recipe is changed one iota.
It seems the Americans prefer a sweeter scone, with a more muffin-like interior. The Brits prefer a more substantial texture. Scones must be firm enough to pass the “twist and separate” test, and should never need a knife to cut a scone in half. They are not overly sweet and are viewed as a vehicle for curd and cream.
This recipe for a typical cream scone is our attempt to approximate the scones tasted at the Ritz-London. We think we came pretty close! -E & C
For the scones:
4 ¼ cups cake flour
3 T. plus 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 and ¼ t. kosher salt
⅓ cup plus 1 T. sugar
5 ½ T. butter, room temperature
2 extra large eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
1 cup dried fruit, such as raisins
For the egg wash:
1 whole egg
3 egg yolks
pinch of superfine sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add all dry ingredients and whisk together. Add the softened butter and mix with a dough hook until the mixture is sandy in texture. Those without a stand mixture can rub the butter through the dry ingredients through their hands until the same consistency is achieved.
- In a small bowl, add all of the wet ingredients. Mix well with a fork or small balloon whisk until well incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Do not overmix! You may need to mix in the last bit of flour in the bottom of the bowl by hand.
- Turn out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Gently pull together the bits of dough and quickly form into a ball. Wrap tightly and let stand for 30 minutes to rest on the counter.
- While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment or Silpat.
- After the dough has rested for 30 minutes, roll out the dough to 1″ thick. Cut into circles using a 2″ round cutter. Place the round dough cutouts onto the baking sheet.
- Prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg, yolks, and sugar together in a small cup. Using a pastry brush, coat the tops of each scone with the wash. Let dry for 15-20 minutes and then repeat again.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Serve after 15 minutes of cooling.
Makes 1 dozen scones. I find these scones do not keep well. They are best served within an hour of baking. I am still working with this recipe to see how much “make ahead” can be done. Will post any updates as I have them. -E
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