Scones

A scone is a single-serving quick bread. They are usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, with baking powder as a leavening agent, and are baked on sheet pans. They are often lightly sweetened and are occasionally glazed with egg wash.

The original scone was round and flat, usually as large as a medium-sized plate and were made on griddles or open fire. With time and modernization, people started using different flours and they are baked in ovens. They are made in different ways in all the different regions around the world. The maximum servings of scones are served in the UK as per the reports I read few years back but they are quiet popular in Ireland and Scotland as well. Ingredients like raisins are used as well whereas US uses sweet agents like cranberries, chocolate chips etc. I prefer scones to be served fresh, hot and as breakfast with tea or coffee. Very simple with very few ingredients and delicious! Lets bake them..

Recipe: (makes around 12-15 scones)

Ingredients:
500 gm self-raising flour
50 gm caster sugar
110 gm margarine / butter, cubed (cold and not melted)
300ml milk

To serve:
Jam of your choice
fresh cream/whipped cream

Method:

Sift the flour and add sugar to it. Add the cubed margarine or butter to it. This is the main part of the recipe sine mixing the margarine with flour creates air pockets and that’s what makes the scones fluffy and soft as a bread. As mentioned, the margarine should be cold. After adding the pieces of margarine to flour, rub the flour with the margarine pieces with your hands. This friction softens the margarine and it gets mixed with the flour. Keep your rubbing process light and not too hard. It is a bit of work but this will give the best results. This will lighten the flour, sugar and butter mixture. I can conclude simply by saying “crumble the mixture and make the texture like bread crumbs, keeping it light and airy”.  Once all the margarine gets mixed, make a well in the mixture and add milk. Slowly mix PhotoGrid_1471177507377from the edge to the center, turning the bowl as you mix. Make sure you just have to mix all the ingredients to make a dough and not knead the dough. If you knead, you will squash out all the air. Scrape at the edges to form the mixture into a ball into the bowl. Sprinkle some plain flour on your bench and tip he ball of dough on it. Sprinkle some flour on the dough as well to make sure its no more sticky. Gently shape the dough in a round shape and then press it lightly to get the desired thickness. In short, all you are doing here is, shaping a thick, round bread out of the dough. Now it is a 4 step process, “Dip, cut, tap and lift”. You take a circle cutter, Dip the cutter in some plain flour, Tap the cutter to remove access flour, Cut a circle of dough and Lift the cut circle of dough. Place all the cut outs on a baking tray, lined with baking paper. Once done, gather all the trimmings, form a round again and you should get around 2-3 more scones out of the trimmings. Now, beat an egg with a splash of milk. Gently brush the glaze over the top of scones with a pastry brush. This makes the tops nice and golden. Bake them for about 12 minutes, at 200C or 400F preheated oven.

They don’t have to be perfect round scones so don’t worry if they are a bit flat or change the shape etc. since there is nothing wrong with them and nothing to worry about it.

Serve fresh with jam and cream

Tips:

The measurements here are in metric. In case you have cups as measurements,

500 gm= 4 cups of flour and
50 gm= 1/4th cup of sugar
110 gm= 1/3rd cup margarine
300ml= 1 1/4th cup milk

Caster sugar is more fine than the regular white sugar we use so if not available ready, you can grind the regular sugar a little bit and it works perfect.

If you don’t eat eggs, its fine to avoid the wash since it is meant only to get a golden top on the scones. You can even glaze only using some milk.

Happy Baking!!!

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