Scones are the perfect crowd-pleaser. They’re tasty, variable, easy to make and, actually, as baking goes, not all that bad for you. The sugar content is pretty low for a baked good and while, yes, butter, flour and milk all make an appearance and lots of myths go round about these ingredients, these things are all elements of essential food groups, so scones really are just a case of “all being fine in moderation.” And if, for whatever reason – health, ethical food choices etc – these ingredients make you uncomfortable, they are easily substituted for healthier/tastier or just…other… options.
Baking is a great way to relieve stress and this is an easy recipe that is also super quick so won’t cut into your day too much, if it is lack of time that is making you stressed.
225g/8oz Self-raising Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (optional)
25g/1oz Caster Sugar
150ml/5 fl oz Milk
1 Egg, beaten (to glaze)
Optional Add-In Suggestions:
(Quantities to taste)
Ø Finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes and chopped basil
Or basically anything else you fancy the taste of….
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7. Grease a baking tray/line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. In mixing bowl stir together the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda. (The latter is not essential because you are using self-raising flour, but I like my scones quite puffy).
3. Roughly slice the butter into chunks and add them to the dry ingredients, then rub it in. Then stir in the sugar and any additional flavoured ingredients (I have just made plain ones). It should look something like this
4. Make a well in the middle and slowly pour in the milk, stirring as you go with a knife, until it makes a soft dough. Then knead it lightly.
5. Break the dough into as many scones as you like, making sure they are roughly even sizes. (My dough made 12). Then place them on the baking tray. Brush the tops with the beaten egg (optional, I didn’t!). Then place in the oven. Baking time: 12-15 mins, or until the tops are lightly golden.
6. Some say to cool them on a wire rack, I say eat them while they are warm and melt the butter/cream/what-have-you!
Optional Substitutes! (for allergies, veganism or taste)
Instead of Flour
- Gluten-free self-raising flour - Bear in mind this tends to be much drier, so compensate by adding extra butter.
- Wholemeal flour – (better for savoury scones.) Higher in fibre and has had fewer chemical treatments.
- Oats – The ratio should be around 2/3 oats, 1/3 flour. They won’t hold if it is just oats.
Instead of Butter and Milk
- Sunflower spread
- Nut butter (will affect taste)
- Lactose-free milk
- Almond/nut milk, although probably not coconut milk (will affect the taste)
- Greek yoghurt (adjust quantities to texture)