Fluffy and soft with a little crisp to the edges and top. The perfect scone doesn't come easy.
There are many little gritty things that can get in the way of achieving that all-buttery point of perfection. Equipped with these pointers, you will soon have yourself wondering whether you should be opening your own bakery.
Know what flour you should use! We recommend using all-purpose flour. There is some debate as to what flour one should use to go around achieving the perfect scone. This is because within different flours comes different levels of protein. Typically, if there is a higher protein level within a flour, the more dense the scone would come out. So what would you prefer? A thicker and denser scone or a lighter and fluffier one? If you’d prefer a thicker one, go for a self-raising flour or a bread flour. But if you’d prefer a lighter and fluffier scone, we’d recommend all-purpose or pastry flour.
Make sure to use a scale to measure your ingredients, scones can easily go wrong if measuring isn’t done effectively. We recommend electric scales but manual scales are fine as well!
3. Don't forget to sift!
Be sure to double or even triple sift your flour, as it takes away the clumps in the flour allowing for more air pockets in the scone dough - the result being a fluffier and more crumbly scone. It's like washing your rice before you boil it, it's boring, but makes a world of difference to the end result!
Always remember to mix the dry and wet ingredients separately. One mixing bowl for the dry ingredients and one for the wet ingredients.
5. Sugar amount
We are all a little tempted to add that extra splash of sweetness into our scones, but make sure you don’t use too much sugar as it will flatten them! We recommend using a maximum of 100g of sugar per 250g of flour.
6. Frozen Butter
Perhaps the most important of them all - make sure to freeze the unsalted butter completely, and grate it before adding to your dry mixture! This allows the butter firstly to melt inside the mixture when baking creating a moist texture inside the scone, and secondly to not clump the butter in one certain place, creating air pockets for that lovely fluffiness. We advise to leave the butter in the freezer right up till you add it to the mixture ensuring it is as cold as possible.
When mixing in the grated frozen butter to the mixture, use a pastry cutter as it is best for ensuring a balanced mixture. If you don't have a pastry cutter, you can always use forks. Just make sure not to over combine the frozen butter with the dry ingredients. Leave it nice and crumbly.!
7. The thicker, the better
Instead of using milk, always use a thicker liquid like buttermilk, heavy cream, or in some recipes, greek yoghurt. Generally, most people tend to stick with buttermilk, but we recommend trying out all of them to see what's your favourite.
8. Don't overwork the dough!
When the wet and dry ingredients have been mixed, try to not overwork the dough, it makes the scones very tough and quite dry. Even if the dough looks crumbly, that’s a good thing! It allows for those air pockets to help increase the fluffiness.
If the dough is too crumbly however, just add a touch of buttermilk, double cream or whatever thick liquid you’re using.
If the dough is too sticky, just add a touch of flour but remember not to put too much!
9. Golden brown finish
For that lovely golden brown crisp finish, always brush the top of your scone with buttermilk or your chosen thick liquid. And for a sweet crunchy taste, add 1/2 tsp of coarse or granulated sugar on top of each scone before putting them in the oven.
10. Refrigerate before baking
Lastly, we recommend to always try to put your scones in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, or freezer for 5-10 minutes, just before baking. Scones are always best baked cold as it makes them rise better, and allows for the frozen butter to melt inside the scone whilst baking creating that fluffy moist texture.
And of course, don't forget to pre-heat your oven up to around 208°C whilst leaving them in the fridge or freezer.
We hope that these tips will help get you that perfect scone texture you’re searching for. Let us know how they come out!
Thank you for reading! Happy baking!