Making these Easy Baked Tea Time Scones is really quite effortless. It is the exact opposite of making bread where lots of kneading and arm muscles are involved. The key ingredient to achieving nice, tall scones is the use of baking powder. Lots of it.
When I came across this recipe from American Test Kitchen, I was a little skeptical. Contrary to many recipes which say kneading the dough is a big no-no for making scones, ATK said it is perfectly okay to knead the dough together as the method they used to incorporate the butter into the flour, limits the gluten development and keeps the scones tender and crumbly. After making a batch, I’m happy to vouch that it is true.
The ingredients used are pretty much what you’ll have in your pantry. On a side note, it’ll be worth getting some good quality butter as it will make your scones shine and come through in the aroma and taste department. To prevent the delicate dough from sticking to the work surface, remember to flour it generously.
3 cups (360 g) all –purpose flour / cake flour (I used all-purpose)
1 stick (113 g) cold unsalted butter – cut into cubes
1/3 cup (70 g) caster sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp (28 g) baking powder
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
2 large eggs (55 g or 60 g each)
¾ cup (180 g) dried cranberries (or currants, raisins, etc)
Makes about 12 x 2.5 inches scones
Recipe source: The American Test Kitchen
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C/400°F.
In a large bowl, add in flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Use a whisk and mix well.
Add the flour into a food processor, follow by the cubes of cold butter. Pulse for about 20 times until it resembles fine sand.
If you do not have a food processor, use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour.
Transfer the flour back into the bowl and add in the dried cranberries. Mix well.
Beat the eggs and milk together and reserve 2 tbsp for brush on the scones later. Add the milk mixture into the flour and fold everything together with the spatula until just combined.
Generously sprinkle some flour (to prevent the dough from sticking) onto the work surface and transfer the dough onto it.
Flour your hands really well and gently knead the dough together until surface is smooth (25 – 30 times).
Shape dough into a disc and roll into a 9-inch round and about 1-inch thickness circle. Sprinkle some flour on top to prevent sticking.
Use a round cookie cutter/pastry ring and stamp out the scones in one swift motion. Do not twist the cutter.
Place scones onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
Use a pastry brush and brush the reserved egg milk mixture on top of each scone.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 mins or until golden brown. Remove from tray and place on a wire rack.
Serve hot with your favorite jam, clotted cream, cream cheese and warm tea.