I had invited some of my girls over for tea this week (and when I say tea I mean freshly brewed cappuccinos). I decided to make an event of it by making a batch of my best most loveliest scones. Crisp crust, soft inside, almost cake like but staying true to it short scone like self. Eaten warm. On the day. Cathartic food.
The gentle smell of scones baking took me back 21 years to my days as a chef trainee. We would often during our lunch break drive the short distance to Durban’s beautiful Botanical Gardens. Dressed in our chefs whites and clonking along in our blue clogs we would walk the cobbled path to the shaded Tea Kiosk to drink tea from thick set canteen style tea cups and eat huge delicious scones “with the works” (strawberry jam and cream), before a begrudging return to afternoon classes. I don’t know who baked those scones 21 year ago, but I am thinking of you today with not just a little nostalgia.
- 560 g flour
- 2 ml salt
- 40 ml baking powder
- 80 g butter
- 250 ml buttermilk
- 125 ml cold water
- 1 jumbo egg
- Scones are best made by the most temperate, patient of cooks as light scones need light fingers. Don't attempt these if you are feeling even moderately irate.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and rub in the slightly softened butter as lightly as possible with your fingertips.
- Beat together the buttermilk, egg and water and pour into the dry ingredients. Using first a spatula and then your hands work the mixture into a coarse dough, and tip onto a floured surface. Gently knead the dough to a smooth ball and press down softly with your hands before rolling out to about 3 to 4 cm thick.
- Using a large fluted cutter cut out rounds from your softly rolled dough. This recipe will make about ten scones. When you press the cutter into the dough, don't twist it, simply cut down straight and lift. This will prevent the dough from pressing together on the sides and help your scones to have an even rise.
- Place scones onto a lined or greased baking sheet and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Resting allows the gluten to relax and helps you to achieve a much lighter, softer scone. After resting bake at 180 degrees celsius for 12 - 15 minutes.
So go on then and have some scones for tea. With the works!!!