to Make the Perfect Scone
there’s nothing like a tender, steaming scone in the morning.
(Pronounced “skawn” like “fawn” or “scone”
like “tone” –Webster says either is okay.) They’re
quick, they’re easy, and with a few tips, they are absolutely
Today, we would
like to share some tips for perfect scones.
The Perfect Scone: Keys to Make Your Scone Just Right
are probably the easiest and quickest of breads. Once you get the ingredients
assembled, most recipes only require fifteen minutes of prep time and
another fifteen minutes or so of baking time. A mix is even quicker.
But there are some
keys to making those flakey, tender scones that you’ve been dreaming
Use the right flour. Use a soft, low protein flour—we
use a quality pastry flour. You want soft, tender scones and too much
protein leads to too much gluten which makes your scones chewy.
Key #2: Keep your ingredients cold. Temperature is critical to buttery, flakey
scones. Start with very cold butter—it should chip when you cut
it into chunks and your liquids should be ice cold. Before you start,
measure your milk or water and put it in the freezer for ten minutes.
Consider chilling your mixing bowl before mixing.
Why do your ingredients
need to be cold? The objective is to keep the butter a solid and not
let it melt into a liquid. If your dough is kept cold, it will have
little bits of dispersed butter. In the heat of the oven, that butter
melts into the dough but leaves pockets and layers in the scones.
Work with the dough
quickly to keep it cool.
Key #3: Don’t work your dough too much. Kneading converts the protein
to gluten. Mix only until the ingredients come together into a combined
Use a folding technique. For flakey, layered scones, use a folding technique.
Roll the dough out to about 3/8-inch thick. Fold the dough in half and
in half again and again. Roll the dough out to about 3/4-inch thick
before cutting the scones.
Use a ruler. If you would like nice, neat scones, use a ruler both as
a straightedge to cut against and to measure equally-sized scones.
Leave the cut edges of the scones alone. Patting the edges with your
fingers melds the edges so that the scone will not rise as nicely or
have a flakey, layered structure.
Don’t over-bake your scones. Over-baking for even a minute
or two will dry your scones out. As soon as the edges begin to turn
brown, remove them from the oven. Immediately, place the scones on a
wire rack—the hot pan will continue to dry the scones.
- Scones can be
frozen for up to three months. Reheat them at 300 degrees for 10 to
15 minutes. Probe the inside of the scone to make sure that it is warm.
- You can bake
your dough in a single flattened loaf. That’s called a bannock.
- Scones are best
fresh out of the oven. Recipes with more butter keep fresh longer.
- For the best
shape, don’t roll your dough thinner than 1/2-inch.
- Scones will
rise to double their unbaked height in the oven. If they are properly
cut, they will spread very little so you can place them close together
on the baking sheet.
- You don’t
need to cut your scones to triangles. You can use a cookie cutter or
free-hand other shapes. Heart-shaped scones for Mothers Day or Valentines
Day are perfect.