This smug and lazy scone recipe was one of my first posts back in December 2016, because I had my priorities firmly in order and scones ought to be at the top of everyone’s priority list.
In any case, I published the recipe but only in cup measurements, promising to update it with weighted measures because not all of us bake with cup measures.
And also I published the recipe without a photo because I have four children and I wasn’t used to the crowd control required for photographing food.
Fast forward a year though and now I am quick enough off the mark that I usually get a couple of quick photos, unremarkable in their technical ability but enough to show you that yes! This recipe yields actual scones!
Real, actual scones. Photographed on a real, actual high countertop out of reach from small hands.
Not only is this the easiest and most delicious scone recipe you’ll ever try, I also posted it because it is compatible with the very smug and lazy art of flash-freezing, and a couple of people had questions about how to freeze them.
So to flash freeze them – just like with biscuits/cookies – you make the dough, shape the scones and pop them in the freezer on a lined baking tray (covered in cling wrap and foil). I usually wait for them to freeze solid for 24hours and then transfer to a ziplock bag. If you have a ready supply of baking trays and a vast freezer, though, there’s no reason why you couldn’t just leave them on the tray which would, technically, score even higher on the lazy scale.
When you’re ready for fresh scones (always), remove them from the freezer while the oven preheats, brush with milk/egg and then just bake for 2-5mins longer than normal, or until golden on top.
Scones! The ultimate in smug hostessing.
I had terrible luck with scones for ages but this recipe turns out really nicely every time. Don’t roll the dough too thin (2.5cm/1inch – I use a ruler as it is surprisingly hard to gauge – for me anyway); don’t ‘over work’ the dough; and don’t twist the cutter when you’re cutting. That’s a lot of don’ts. Much like our house at any given moment. Don’t chase your brother! Don’t lick your knee! The usuals.
Back to the smug scones. Yields 12 small scones.
4tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup / 55g sugar
2 cups / 320g plain / all purpose flour
6 tbsp / 85g butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup / 160ml milk
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F (or not, if you are making these for the freezer!)
Easier in a food processor or if, like me, your food processor has given up, then perfectly manageable by hand.
Mix/ pulse the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Add the butter and rub into the dry mix (or just pulse) until you have a sandy/breadcrumby texture. Ditch the processor and transfer to a big bowl.
In a small bowl, combine milk and egg. Reserve a tbsp 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 vaguely 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 (I still check with a ruler as it’s thicker than you think)
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/parchment paper-lined tray. You should get around 8 from that first roll, then pull the last bits together for another 3-4.
If you are baking now – 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 2-5mins 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.
Enjoy! Smug and lazy nod.