Monday, 22 August 2011

At Home: Scones

I tore this wonderful Dan Lepard recipe for vanilla almond scones from the Guardian Weekend magazine a few weeks ago. They are perfectly simple, and incredibly moreish.

This was my second attempt, by the way. First attempt, I weighed out the dry ingredients the night before, then plainly forgot the next day that I had only half the dry ingredients (for half the quantity of scones), and added the full quantity of wet ingredients. Needless to say, this batter was not going to transform itself into delectable scones. Lesson learnt.

They will keep for a day or two in an airtight plastic container, but why would you want to? Eat them fresh with lashings of cream and your favourite jam. The following tips and and recipe are stolen verbatim from the magazine, except I used buttermilk instead of yogurt, and left out the almonds:

- Keep the dough soft, pat it gently, keep it thick.
- When cutting, do so swiftly and straight down without twisting.
- Bake in a very hot oven, to give you the tallest scones possible.
- They are best eaten as soon as they're warm, with butter or cream, as you prefer.

400g plain flour, plus a little extra
3 tsp baking powder
tsp salt
50g unsalted butter, slightly chilled
225ml natural yogurt or buttermilk (I used buttermilk, readily available from large supermarkets)
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp caster sugar
75ml double cream
1 egg, beaten

Spoon the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl, and toss with a fork. Cut the chilled butter into cubes, then rub into the flour mixture until only the odd flake remains visible.

Stir the buttermilk with the vanilla extract, caster sugar, and cream, then tip this into the flour bowl and combine until the mixture barely forms a smooth dough. Flour a patch of worktop, scoop the dough on to it and tap it out to 3-4cm high - you want it quite thick because you want a good lift from the scones.

Line a tray with nonstick paper. Cut scones from the dough using a round, 6cm cutter, and place them 3-4cm apart on the tray. Brush the tops with beaten egg, and bake at 220C/200 fan/Gas 7 for 12-14 minutes, until lightly brown on top.


  1. Haha I feel your pain, that's the kind of silly baking mistake I make :-) Your second attempt looks absolutely divine though. I love Dan Lepard's recipes - not yet made a single one which hasn't worked beautifully.

  2. Oh how annoying. Glad you persisted though, these sound wonderful - particularly keen on the lashings of cream ;-)