Scones

Scones

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Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

  2. Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

    Scones – Step 2
  3. Stir in the fruit, chips, and/or nuts, if you're using them.

  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half-and-half or milk. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients.

    Scones – Step 4
  5. Using a bowl scraper or a large spoon, stir the dough ingredients until all is moistened and holds together.

    Scones – Step 5
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don't have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.

  7. Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5" circle (if you haven't incorporated any add-ins); or a 6" circle (if you've added fruit, nuts, etc.). The circles should be about 3/4" thick.

  8. Using a knife or bench knife that you've run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.

    Scones – Step 8
  9. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon-sugar.

    Scones – Step 9
  10. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2" space between them, at their outer edges.

  11. For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Chilling the scones relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper third.

  12. Bake the scones in the upper part of your oven for 18 to 23 minutes, or until they're a light golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn't look wet or unbaked.

    Scones – Step 12
  13. Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. They're delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam, if you like. 

  14. When the scones are completely cool, wrap them in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Looking for a gluten-free version of this recipe? Find it here: Gluten-Free Whole Grain Scones.

  • Why the range in milk? Flour is like a sponge; it absorbs liquid during humid weather, and dries out in dry weather. In summer or when it's hot and humid, use the lesser amount of milk or half and half in this recipe; during winter, or when it's very dry, use the greater amount. Either way, start with the smaller amount, and drizzle it in till the dough is the correct consistency.
  • To make free-form (a.k.a. drop scones) rather than wedge-shaped scones, increase the half-and-half or milk to 3/4 cup (171g). Using a large ice cream scoop or spoon, dollop the scone dough in 1/3-cupfuls onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the scones in a preheated 375°F oven for about 30 minutes.

  • Want to make scones well ahead of time? Simple. After the unbaked scones' 30 minutes in the freezer (or whenever they're frozen solid), place them in a zip-top plastic bag. Return to the freezer, and store for up to a month. Bake as directed (without thawing), adding a couple of extra minutes if needed.
  • Want to use a different combination of add-ins or even make savory scones? Learn to bake customized scones based on the flavors you're craving.