Almost three years ago, when I was in Oxford, my roommate and I learned to love scones. Mostly we bought our own scones from Tesco and had them with clotted cream and tea as an afternoon study break, but a few times we splurged and went out for cream tea. See beautiful spread in photo below: *cue swoon*
Anyways, when I left Oxford, I was in a serious scone funk. I tried a few recipes from cookbooks, but I was never fully satisfied. My junior dean (RA) suggested that I just try her basic scone template, and despite my skepticism (sorry Subiksha!) I’ve been making scones her way ever since.
If you are looking for really sweet scones, or crumbly scones, this recipe is not for you. In many ways, this scone recipe is just a biscuit. A breakfast biscuit, I guess. They’re not that sweet. (You could always add sugar!) They’re not that pretty. (Although I have made them in heart shapes for Valentine’s day.) But, it’s a super simple way to do scones. And a bonus! You can easily freeze the scones, which is great when you’re cooking for one: make a full batch, form them into scones, bake however many you want right at the moment, throw the rest in the freezer (on a tray lined with parchment paper), and pop them into a bag when they’re fully frozen. (A few hours later.) Then, when you’re ready for fresh scones: butter a baking sheet, pop your scones on the sheet, and stick them in the over while it pre-heats. How long will they take to cook? 20-30 minutes, maybe? (Confession: I don’t really know.) A little longer than usual, I guess, but when you include the thaw time during the oven preheating it’s not bad.
On to the recipe. You’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose or while pastry flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (preferably pastry)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/3-1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 – 1 1/2 cup fruit (chopped cherries are great, chopped canned peaches too, or dried fruit)
1. Measure flours, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. [Oh, and preheat the oven to 350.]
2. Cut butter into slices with a knife, then use a pastry cutter to cut butter into flour.
(Huh, you say? See this video.)
3. Add the fruit of choice into the bowl.
4. Then add the milk. If you’re using a wet fruit (i.e. canned peaches), start with less milk rather than more. (And, if you’re using canned fruit with juice, feel free to use the juice in place of some of the milk. Mix in and maybe add more milk. You need enough liquid to get a sticky dough that will hold together and form scone shaped lumps, but not a wet dough.
5. This should be enough for 12 medium/large scones. I form scones by setting clumps of dough on a pan lined with parchment pepper. If you want pretty scones … I’m afraid I’m not well-positioned to help you.
6. Bake any scones you want right now and freeze the rest for later. Bake 15-25 minutes until scones are golden brown. They’re best if you eat them pretty soon.
Vegans, it’s easy to substitute soy/other milk and vegan butter! I’ve tried this with success.
If you want more whole wheat, you should be able to fiddle with the flours. Same goes for if you want less whole wheat.