The best ever 'fail-safe' scones




The best ever 'fail-safe' scones

Hello and welcome to all about food. We’re getting straight down to business this week so grab your apron and get baking!

Ask Gingergirl

Hi Gingergirl

I’ve tried making scones in the past but they come out very hard and dry. Do you have any fail-safe recipes I could try?

Many thanks,

Joanne, Caherdavin.

Hello Joanne,

There are a few pointers you might like to bear in mind when making scones: firstly, do not over mix the dough as this will toughen the scones - try to use a food processor if one is available, if not, work quickly and handle the ingredients lightly; the lighter the hand, the lighter the scone. Like with pastry making, cold hands work best, so run your hands under cold water if, like me, you have warm hands. Finally, do not use too much flour when rolling out the dough, over floured dough makes dry scones.

Perfect Scones

350g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

85g cold butter, cut into cubes

4 tablespoons of caster sugar

150g of full fat yoghurt

4 tablespoons of milk

For the egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of milk to glaze the scones.

Put a baking sheet in the oven at 200ºc. Put the flour, salt and baking powder into a food processor, add the butter and mix until fully combined. Add the sugar and pulse until mixed. Tip the mix into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.

Warm the yoghurt and milk together in the microwave for 1 minute or in a saucepan; it should be hot and may go a little lumpy. Tip into the bowl and quickly work the liquid into the flour mix – I use a butter knife for this. Mix until it is just combined.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface, fold the dough over a few times - just enough to create a smooth dough. Pat out the dough gently to about 3cm thick, using a 7cm cutter cut out the scones – gather the trimmings, then pat and cut out scones until all the dough is used up. Brush the scone tops with egg wash. Remove the baking trays from the oven and dust with flour before placing the scones on the sheets, leaving a small gap between each scone. Bake for 12 minutes until risen and golden. Dust with a little icing sugar. I cannot resist eating these scones warm with some jam, and - if I’m feeling particularly good to myself – with some whipped cream!

If you fancy some fruit in your scones feel free to add 85g of sultanas or cherries when you are adding the sugar to the mix. You can also add frozen raspberries with the wet ingredients.

Savoury herb scones

Savoury scones are also delicious, I like to make dill scones and enjoy them with cheese, salmon or seafood chowder: 350g of self-raising flour, ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, a pinch of salt, 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh dill, 85g of butter, 280 ml of buttermilk. Follow the same method as above, roll out to 2cm thickness and cut using a 5cm scone cutter. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

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Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

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