I can't think of scones without imagining a warm Saturday morning in the idyllic English countryside. People living a simple life where time is endless and watches serve no purpose but to know when it's tea time. A cup of tea and a scone is the epitome of serenity as far as i'm concerned.
A basic scone recipe is the start but the technique is everything. Remember a few key rules:
1. The butter must be cold.
2. You must not overwork the dough
3. You must not over cook in the oven
Once you've mastered these rules, you will get a fluffy and beautifully risen scone. Then you can top the scone in so many different flavourings. You can enjoy the classic jam and cream or take it somewhere exotic by flavouring the cream or using other fruit combinations. The world's your oyster. But first thing's first, master that classic scone recipe!
3 1/2 cups plain flour
100 g cold unsalted butter in cubes
2 teaspoons bicarb soda
4 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/4 cup milk
Sift the flour, bicarb and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers rub in the cold diced butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles something like breadcrumbs.
Add the milk and fold the mixture gently. Don't over work the dough or you won't get a fluffy scone.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and merely press it together so it holds form. Again don't over work or knead the dough too much.
Roll the dough to 3cm thickness and use a cup rim to stamp out the scone shapes. Transfer to a flat baking tray. Brush with a little milk and into a preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden.
Enjoy with a cup of tea and the classic toppings of jam and cream.