It's the ideal afternoon treat, light breakfast, or not-too-sweet dessert: the humble English scone. Simple as they may be, they're often made badly, too dry or gummy to be enjoyable. So trust the experts, and try this basic scone recipe from the technical challenge of the season one finale of The Great British Baking Show.
Tea Time Scones
2¼ cups (9 oz) self-rising flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder
⅜ stick (1½ oz) softened butter
¼ cup (1 oz) caster sugar (this can be made by grinding granulated sugar in a food processor or blender until fine)
1 large egg
about ½ cup (3½ fl oz) milk
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease two baking trays.
2. Put the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
3. Beat the egg in a measuring jug. Add milk to fill to ½ cup (3½ fl oz), then set aside a tablespoon of milk for glazing the scones later.
4. Gradually add the egg and milk to the dry ingredients, stirring it in until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough.
5. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and pat out until it is about ¾ in thick. Use a 1½ in fluted cutter to stamp out the scones. Make sure you don’t twist the cutter or the scones will not rise evenly.
6. Gently gather the trimmings together and pat out again to cut more scones.
7. Arrange the scones on the greased baking trays and brush the tops with the remaining milk.
8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until well-risen and golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
9. Serve with jam and clotted cream.