In the world of desserts, scones are a treasure. Sweet or savory, scones can be paired with just about any food and occasion and are a no-fail way to brighten up someone's day. Make a large batch of scones to bring to an event like a baby shower, or keep delicious scones on hand to enjoy as a midday snack.
While scones are a party favorite, you don't need to wait for a unique opportunity to enjoy this treat. Scones can be enjoyed whenever muffins or coffee are appropriate–all the time!
This being, not all scones are created equal. To bake a delicious batch of scones, you'll need to start with a great recipe. Once you've found your recipe, there are a few tips and tricks to follow to ensure that your scones come out just right. The recipe and technique you choose when making scones will largely affect their taste and texture.
Use a lousy scone recipe, and you'll end up with scones that are dry and rough with a bland flavor similar to cardboard. Luckily, we went ahead and did the scone testing for you, and after a bit of trial and error, we've discovered how to make delicious homemade scones that promise a novel crisp and soft flaky interior. Eager to enjoy your homemade scones already? Keep scrolling for a step-by-step guide on how to make scones.
What Are Scones?
Before diving into making the perfect scone, let's first discuss what this dessert is and the ingredients needed to make it. While scones are a mouthwatering dessert no matter where they are enjoyed, the term "scone" may differ slightly based on where you live. There are two main types of scones; the British scone and the American scone. Let's discuss the differences between each.
American scones are baked to resemble wedges or triangles, and they are often pretty dense. British scones are much taller than American ones and generally feature a round shape resembling an American biscuit. While British scones are also dense, they are not nearly as thick as American scones.
American scones are bursting with flavor and are commonly made to be eaten alone. Loaded with taste and texture, they often don't require any toppings to be added. However, some do flaunt a light glaze atop of them.
Meanwhile, British scones are much more plain, and the flavor of this treat is intensified with an array of toppings like lemon curd, chocolate chip frosting, whipped cream, clotted cream, butter and preserves.
Sweeter and fluffier, British scones are a bit lighter. However, this is because they are later topped with loads of sugary ingredients like jams, preserves and clotted cream. On the other hand, American scones usually use more sugar in the actual scone recipe, and sugary toppings aren't as popular. Scones are made in several varieties ranging from blueberry to pumpkin, which means that there is likely a scone recipe out there that everyone can enjoy.
How to Make Scones
As with any great recipe, making the perfect batch of scones requires a bit of practice. Like all baked goods, there is a lot that can go wrong in each step. However, when it comes to scone making, the fresher, the better.
The most enjoyable scone recipe is one that features a slightly crumbly scone fresh from the oven. To help you create the scone of your dreams, we've gathered a list of scone-making basics that we recommend reviewing before baking your next batch of scones.
Use Quality Ingredients
Using quality ingredients when baking scones is an excellent way to ensure that the final result tastes great. Start with a simple recipe and invest in a high-quality flour to create a scone with a slight crust and moist inner crumble—ready for all of your preferred add-ins and toppings.
Don't Soften Your Butter
Unless the scone recipe you're using calls for softened butter, we recommend using room temperature butter. Doing so will help your scones rise high and provide them with a more lively flavor.
Be Precise When Measuring
Measuring out your baking ingredients can get tricky, especially if you haven't done it before. For the most accurate form of measurement, measure your flour with a scale.
You can also accurately measure it by scooping it out of the bag and into a dry measuring cup. Pouring your flour out of the bag is crucial, as pouring it directly into the measuring cup will measure more flour than needed and create a batter that's too dense.
Drain The Fruit
Many scone recipes call for fruit as one of the main ingredients. Whether you're working with room temperature or frozen fruit, you must drain it well before including it in the recipe.
Frozen fruit should not be thawed out before being mixed into the batter. Instead, you'll want to mix it in as-is. Adding fruit to your scones is a great way to sweeten the recipe naturally. Moreover, if you're adding fruit to your batter, you won't have to use as much sugar when baking them. You can add blueberry, chocolate, rhubarb, or any fruit that you want.
How to Make Buttery Scones
Ready to make delicious buttery scones? Here's a list of the ingredients you'll be working with.
Step 1: Combine The Dry Ingredients
To begin making the scones of your dreams, start by combining the dry ingredients which are flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Next, add in the butter and cut it with a pastry blender. If you don't have a pastry blender, delicious scones can be created with just a bit of hand mixing.
Step 2: Beat Eggs
Set aside the dry ingredients; it's time to focus on the eggs. Beating eggs properly is essential to creating the ideal scone texture. To begin, add your eggs to a separate bowl and beat them just enough until they form a light and airy texture.
Step 3: Combine Wet Ingredients
Focus on the wet ingredients and add the heavy cream to the eggs. Mix it thoroughly until fully combined, and then set aside a bit of cream for later. This can be used to moisten the dough if needed. While water will also work to moisten the dough, it won't add the rich flavor and texture that the cream will.
Step 4: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients
It's now time to mix your two bowls. Taking the wet ingredients first, slowly add them to the dry ingredients. As soon as you begin adding the wet ingredients, the baking powder will be activated, officially starting the scone baking process. Continue adding the wet ingredients to the dry and stirring the dough until it comes together. Then mix in any additional add-ins that you'd like, including raisins, blueberries, currants, etc.
Step 5: Roll the Dough
Now that the dough is thoroughly mixed, it's time to dust off your rolling pin—literally. To do so, take a bit of flour and spread it across your rolling pin to keep it from sticking to the dough. Next, roll the dough out to about an inch thick and be sure not to overwork it. Overworked dough is hard to fix and will create scones that taste tough and leather-like.
Step 6: Shape Your Scones
It's time to cut the scones. To complete this step, you can use either a fluted or round pastry cutter. Additionally, you can also use a knife to cut the scones into triangles, producing an American-style scone rather than a British one. Using a knife to cut the scones is the most efficient way to shape them and leave fewer scraps. Be sure to have the baking sheet already greased or covered with parchment paper so that the baked scones don't stick to the baking sheet.
Step 7: Glaze The Scones
While this step is optional if you'd like to give your scones a glossy, bakery-style finish, we recommend painting the tops of them with egg wash. To do this, mix an egg and a tablespoon of water into a small bowl and beat it until thoroughly mixed. Next, take the egg wash and cover the tops of the scones with it.
Step 8: Bake and Eat
The scone batter is now prepared and ready to bake. The length and heat with which you bake your scones will largely depend on the recipe you're following. However, most scone recipes will need to be baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 15 minutes.
After your scones are fully cooked, let them cool and enjoy them as promptly as possible. Scones are best enjoyed fresh from the oven. Feel free to add a twist of taste to your freshly baked scones by melting the salted butter atop them, covering them with jam, or serving them alongside fresh fruit. If you have leftover scone batter, you can store them in your freezer. The unbaked scones can last about three weeks. So you can have blueberry scones, cream scones, or chocolate scones ready to bake any time.
We hope that this guide outlining how to bake scones has provided you with valuable tips and tricks to create the perfect scone recipe of your own. By following these steps, we're confident that your scones will turn out delicious.
For even more inspiration, we suggest starting your scone baking journey with a delicious recipe in mind, such as this Cranberry Orange Drop Scone Recipe or a lighter scone recipe like this Paleo Blueberry Lemon Scones. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, we wish you a lovely, scone-filled day!