These traditional British scones are a flaky, buttery canvas for fruits, curds, and jams. They are perfect for sitting down for a delightful snack and taking some "me" time.
Why you'll love it
The recipe is super simple and uses only a few basic ingredients which means you can have scrumptious scones whenever you have a craving for them. It can make a lot so you have plenty to share, but you can easily halve the recipe
You can also make the dough ahead of time and store in the freezer so you can bake up scones any time the mood comes.
It is flaky, buttery, and since the original recipe come from The British Table, you can be sure that these are truly the authentic British scones that you've been wanting.
What are scones?
Scones are delightful, crumbly pastries that have captured the hearts of people around the world. Picture this: a small, golden-hued, round treat with a slightly crisp exterior and a tender, buttery interior. Their flavor dances between sweet and subtly savory, making them a versatile canvas for an array of toppings and spreads.
Often enjoyed during afternoon tea in the British tradition, scones' magic lies in their simplicity. Flour, butter, sugar, and a leavening agent combine to create these scrumptious delights.
Are scones like biscuits?
American biscuits are fluffy and buttery delights, best known for their mouthwatering presence at Southern-style breakfasts. These tender treats have a light, airy texture and are typically served alongside savory dishes like gravy or as a vessel for sweet toppings like honey or jam,
In contrast, British scones charm with their crumbly elegance and restrained sweetness. These dainty rounds often star in afternoon tea and take on a slightly denser texture that pairs beautifully with the rich cream and fruity preserves.
American vs British scones
American scones are typically sweeter and have a softer, cake-like texture due to a higher sugar content and the use of heavy cream or buttermilk in the dough. They often include various add-ins like dried fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips, and may be glazed with icing for added sweetness. American scones are usually served as standalone pastries or snacks. Some examples include these cranberry orange scones, gingerbread scones, and brown butter coconut chocolate chip scones.
On the other hand, British scones are less sweet, relying more on the natural sweetness of the ingredients. They have a crumbly, slightly dry texture achieved by using less sugar and lighter ingredients like regular milk or water. British scones are traditionally served with clotted cream and jam as part of afternoon tea or cream tea, creating a delightful combination of flavors. They are smaller and flatter compared to their American counterparts.
There are only a few ingredients needed to make the best British scones. That is why it is important to use the best quality possible. These are some of the important ingredients you need.
- Flour - All-purpose flour gives you the best tender and flaky texture for your scones.
- Sugar - You only need a touch of granulated sugar. Anything else would make these sweeter than needed.
- Butter - Unsalted butter is the best for this. Unlike most recipes, it is important to make sure your butter is very cold during the entire process.
- Milk - Unlike American scones, you should use any regular milk you have. Whole milk will add the most flavor. Milk alternatives also work well here.
How to make
Prepping and making your scones is very simple, and can be a very enjoyable process.
- Mix your dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add in the cubed butter and use a pastry cutter or your hands to cut the butter into the flour until it forms large crumbs.
- Mix the egg and milk together in a small bowl, then add a cup of it into the flour mixture.
- Stir gently to coat the flour and press the ingredients together.
- Shape and cut out your scones. Place them on a lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the remaining milk mixture.
- Bake until golden brown, then serve!
You can use your favorite gluten-free baking mix.
You can make the scone dough, shape, and cut them then place them on a baking sheet. Freeze for an hour before transferring to an airtight container. When you are ready, bake from frozen and keep in mind it may need an extra few minutes in the oven.
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ tablespoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter cut in cubes, chilled
- 1 large egg cold
- 1 cup whole milk cold
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.
- Incorporate the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or your hands. The mixture should resemble coarse meal when finished.
- Whisk together the egg and milk in a small bowl until well-combined.
- Add in one cup of the milk mixture into the flour and mix until just combined and the dough comes together. Add more milk as needed if the dough looks dry.
- Separate the dough in half and form into large discs that are one inch thick. Cut the discs to make eight triangles from each. Brush the tops with the remaining milk mixture. Separate each wedge and place on the baking sheets.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a light golden brown on top.