You know the drill now. In a domestic context, Smug and Lazy can only be a good thing.
In any case, having been completely thrilled with my newfound make, shape and flash freeze routine for biscuits and cookies, I can confirm that it works equally well for scones. Scones! The ultimate in smug hostessing. Come round and I’ll just whip up a batch of fresh scones, you can promise, safe in the knowledge they are waiting for you in the freezer. Just make sure you have time to pop out for the clotted cream and jam.
I had terrible luck with scones for ages but these have turned out really nicely every time. Don’t roll the dough too thin (I use a ruler as it is surprisingly hard to gauge – for me anyway); don’t ‘over work’ the dough (I know how it feels); and don’t twist the cutter when you’re cutting. That’s a lot of don’ts. Much like our house on Christmas Day. Don’t open your brother’s presents! Don’t get in the way of her new toy! Don’t open that yet! Don’t touch the candles! Etc. We had a lovely quiet first Christmas on Vancouver Island though. A bit of mountain (hill) climbing, some food, and a fever – the classic family celebration. Hope you did too.
Back to the smug scones-
4tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar (sorry – I am going to weigh this next time to get some grams measurements)
2 cups plain flour (as above)
6 tbsp butter (again, with the units of measurement)
2/3 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F (or not, if you are making these for the freezer!)
Ideally in a food processor, although if yours has given up working ever since you moved to a new country and you are waiting patiently hoping someone might treat you to a new one…..then you can just muddle along by hand.
Mix – with a spoon OR your fancy food processor – the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Add the butter and rub into the dry mix (pulse in the processor) until you have your sandy/breadcrumby texture. Ditch the processor and transfer to a big bowl.
In a small bowl, combine milk and egg. Reserve a tbsp or so for the egg wash on the top. (spoon out a little into a mug)
Add the remainder of the egg/milk to the flour/butter mix. Stir sparingly to combine – I think Delia and Mary (first name terms) suggest using a knife to combine so you don’t overwork the dough.
As soon as it is clinging together in a dough-like way, transfer to a floured countertop. Lightly knead/pat into a smooth ball.
Roll (lightly – some people say no rolling pins but I found this worked just fine and gave a more even finish) to about 2.5cm/1inch thick (try the ruler – it was thicker than I thought)
Use a 4-5cm/2-2.5inch cutter. I use a fluted one out of necessity as I have misplaced the smooth round one. Push the cutter in – no twisting. Transfer to your greaseproof paper lined tray. You should get around 8 from that first roll, then pull the last bits together for another 3 or so.
If you are baking now – then glaze with the egg wash and pop in the oven for 13-15mins, until golden on top.
I froze without the egg wash and then just popped that on when I took them out of the freezer, whilst I was waiting for the oven to heat up. Add 2-4 mins extra to your cooking time, depending on how long they sit on the counter before going in the oven and how efficient your oven is (mine is lazy).
This was based loosely on a recipe I found here, but I dropped the sugar content a bit (so virtuous, she said, loading on the cream and jam); and adjusted the baking powder/milk quantities after a few attempts.
Enjoy! Smug and lazy nod.