Author Jean Morrison
This is one of those basic recipes I cook when I only have a few minutes before visitors arrive.
I'm one of those people who hate tossing out left over food but I must admit that an old scone is not very appetizing. So try and eat them promptly. Friends of ours always toast their left over scones and they reckon they are lovely when toasted. Hmmmm...
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Quantity: Makes 16 scones
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1 and 1/2 cups tepid water
1/4 cup skimmed milk powder
Large handful sultanas
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 cups of self raising flour
Mix first three ingredients together and let stand for 15 - 20 minutes to moisten the sultanas slightly.
Pre heat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile sift flour. Gently rub the butter into the flour mixture until no lumps of better remain - not even tiny ones.
Gently pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and very delicately mix the two together with a spatula. This is not the time to use an electric mixer. The ingredients should be just mixed together enough for you to turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly.
Press with finger tips until dough is about 2 centimeters (about an inch) thick. Cut into rounds with your scone cutter and place reasonably close together on a lightly floured or non-stick baking tray. If you have time you can place the tray of uncooked scones somewhere warm for 15 minutes before cooking them. I find they rise a little more if left somewhere warm before they are popped in the oven.
Bake at 220 degrees Celsius (450 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 12 minutes or until light gold in colour.
Makes 16 good sized scones.
Making scones is one of the few times that I actually really do sift flour.
A professional baker once told me that when making scones the dough should be almost as soft as a pile of tissues. I haven't quite achieved that yet and probably never will.
Scones don't store well so eat them promptly or freeze the left overs. The frozen left overs can be micro waved and they are quite lovely. Don't bother defrosting them first - they can go straight into the microwave from the freezer.
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