Ever since I had seen scones on Masterchef Australia I knew I had to make them. But being as lazy as I am, I kept on delaying the whole baking scones thing. Thanks to me cribbing about “I want scones” for days and days, my mom too wanted them now!! So I finally decided to bake them and I did stick to my decision this time! So here is a little gyaan about scones. It is a small quick bread hailing from Scotland and is generally had with cream tea. Scones are a must during high teas but you can happily hog on them for breakfast!! They are meant to have a nice crust on the top, soft and flaky on the inside and enjoyed warm slathered with clotted cream and jam!! In US they are called biscuits when savoury and scones when sweet. There are a lot of ways to make scones – using milk/ buttermilk/ cream/ eggs. But the main helper to make the scone light and flaky is the Baking powder. You need to make sure that the baking powder is fresh and active to get nice light well risen scones!! So here is an extremely easy eggless scones recipe. There are unlimited flavour options for you to choose from to make your own “perfect scone”.
Eggless Cinnamon Scones
(Makes 8 2” scones)
1 cup all purpose flour/maida
2 tsp fresh baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
3 tbsp/40 g frozen butter (grate 3 tbsp of frozen butter and place it in the freezer)
½ cup of cold buttermilk
1 tbsp of vanilla sugar/plain castor sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon powder
1 tbsp milk to glaze the scones
1 tbsp of cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on the scone tops
1. Preheat the oven to 240°C
2. Triple sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and baking soda) in a bowl and place it in the refrigerator till cold. Do not skip this step…it is very important to sift to get light scones!!
3. Rub the frozen grated butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. If you want flaky scones rub till few pea sized pieces of flour are formed and if you wish for tender soft scones then rub the butter till the flour resembles sand
4. Add the cinnamon powder and castor sugar to the flour mixture and mix it through with a fork
5. Add nearly all of the buttermilk (reserve 2 tbsp aside) to the flour mixture and mix gently till it forms a sticky dough. Add the rest of the buttermilk if needed. I’ve noticed, the stickier the dough the lighter the scones will be!
6. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough and get it all together lightly. Do not knead the dough more than 4/5 times. After it has come together pat or roll the dough evenly till it is about 2cm thick
7. Use a cookie or scone cutter or even a glass with sharp rims to cut the scones. Remember to flour the cutter every time you cut a scone. While cutting do not twist and turn the cutter while cutting the scones, just stamp out without any other movement
8. After a few scones are cut, put the dough scraps together and cut out more scones but remember these will not rise as much as the first batch because we have kneaded the dough more
9. Place the scones on a baking dish. Let them touch each other if you want soft sided scones and keep them apart if you want crisp sided scones
11. Bake in a preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes or till the sides seem set and done and the tops are lightly golden. Do check the scones after 8 minutes because home ovens act differently at such high temperatures. Once done immediately place onto a cooling rack and serve warm with jam. They are best when warm, storing them for later spoils their flaky texture.
Making a scone is not really a task but you need to make sure you follow the basic rules to make them feathery light.
Here are the basic things to keep in mind while making a perfect scone:
1. Make sure all the ingredients and vessels used to make the scones are cold
2. The baking powder should be fresh and active or else the scones won’t rise well
3. If using buttermilk then a pinch of baking soda helps make the scones light
4. Do not over knead the dough; it makes them chalky and they do not rise well
5. The scone cutter needs to floured really well or else the dough will stick to it
6. Do not twist and turn the scone cutter while making the scones
7. Glaze the scone tops with milk if you want them to have a light crust and with egg if you want a golden crust
There are so many flavours you can incorporate in these scones like adding nuts, currants, dried fruits or berries! Make them savoury using grated cheese, garlic, herbs (dried or fresh) or even grated carrots.
I made another batch with cheddar cheese, garlic and garlic chives and they were perfect with piping hot tomato soup!