The other day I made scones. Alone. I should explain.
I normally do all my baking with Sun but this time I indulged in some solo baking. Scones is one thing I have learnt to avoid making with Sun. I’ve tried before but he is frankly rubbish at rubbing the flour into the butter. Flour goes everywhere and he eats the cubes of butter when I’m not looking. He also overworks the dough meaning death of the light, fluffy scone and we end up with rock cakes.
So this time I waited until he was having an afternoon nap, snuck into the kitchen and baked on my own. It’s potentially sad that this felt quite decadent. They are perfect naptime baking: 10 minutes to prepare and then 10 minutes to bake while you clear up and pop the kettle on, still leaving you time to sit down and eat one and drink your tea before the little monkey wakes. Perfection on a rainy, dark afternoon.
This is the recipe I use from the BBC Good Food site and it has never failed me:
350g self-raising flour , plus more for dusting
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
85g butter , cut into cubes
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
squeeze lemon juice
beaten egg & a sprinkling of sugar, to glaze
jam and clotted cream , to serve – lots of!
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.
Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife – it will seem pretty wet at first. 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 round about 4cm deep.
Take a 5cm 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 four scones. By this point you’ll probably need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four. Brush the tops with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.
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.