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What am I doing wrong with scones?

(33 Posts)
WinkyisbackontheButterBeer Mon 29-Jul-19 20:49:23

I love a good scone. With butter, jam, cream or just on their own but I cannot, for the life of me, make a decent one.
I am a decent baker. My sponge cakes are always good, as are my biscuits. My brownies are a thing of beauty. But alas, the simple fruit scone is beyond me.

They are always to heavy, too hard and crumbly and could possibly be useful for holding down small children in high winds.
So please, clever people of mumsnet, tell me how to make a decent scone. sad

OP’s posts: |
isabellerossignol Mon 29-Jul-19 20:52:06

Have you tried using buttermilk instead of ordinary milk?

I know exactly what you mean, I'm a fairly confident baker but scones are really difficult.

My favourite recipe is the one in the book 'Short and sweet' by Dan Lepard.

Reallybadidea Mon 29-Jul-19 20:53:09

The dough needs to be quite wet. Don't overhandle the mixture, just press it together or they will be tough. Pat them out really thick or they won't rise much. Cook at a hot temperature 200-220C for just long enough to be cooked through. Use a roasting tin to protect the sides of the scones from drying out.

bitingcat Mon 29-Jul-19 20:53:10

Handle the doughnas little as possible, don't use a rolling pin, gently flatten with your hand. It really improved my scones, good luck OP, now you just need to decide if it's jam or cream first!

isabellerossignol Mon 29-Jul-19 20:54:06

Or there is a recipe in Nigella Lawson's domestic goddess book where she says the secret is Cream of Tartar as the raising agent.

I also bake them in a deep roasting dish instead of one a baking tray because they don't dry out as much. Think that tip came from the Dan Lepard book actually!

FantailsFly Mon 29-Jul-19 20:54:32

Very light touch on the dough to bring it together - no kneading. Pat gently into shape about 3cm thick then cut with knife or round cutter. The light touch seems to be the only place someone could go wrong smile

Stationeryqueen Mon 29-Jul-19 20:55:07

I use Paul Hollywood's Recipe, he uses strong flour & does work them a little, but not over work them.

500g strong flour, 80g butter, 80g caster, 2 eggs, 5tsp baking powder & 250ml whole milk.

My tip is not to roll them too thin, and don't twist your cutter when you press down.

Degustibusnonestdisputandem1 Mon 29-Jul-19 20:55:50

As others have said, the less handling the better... took me a while to perfect scones.

Holymosquito Mon 29-Jul-19 20:56:11

As above, a wet dough and rough and ready, if it takes longer than 5 minutes to throw together you’re doing it wrong! try to cut as many out of the first batch as possible - as you bring the dough back together for the next cut it gets tougher. Never knead the dough just a quick mix is fine.

Wolfcubisthefemalenominal Mon 29-Jul-19 20:56:29

Master chef Australia lemon and date scone recipe - uses cream. You don’t need to add the lemon or dates

Don’t roll out, just bring is to the roughly right shape with your hands and cut out

Push the cutter straight down and lift it straight off. Don’t twist.

Don’t let the milk or egg wash run down the sides of the scone

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 29-Jul-19 20:56:41

I once kew someone who would whip up perfect scones at the drop of a hat. She used cream instead of milk/butter etc.

I've never tried it but apparently it's a Thing

www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/8819796/Cream-scones-recipe.html

RaggeddeeAnn Mon 29-Jul-19 20:56:42

Hard to know what you are doing wrong. Perhaps you are rolling the dough? You just want to handle it gently and lightly hand mould each scone in a cutter. Don’t press it too hard. Perhaps you let them cool uncovered as this would result in hard crust? Just cover them with clean damp tea towel to cool. Too crumbly? May be putting in too much fruit so that the dough can’t hold together?
Also may be flour? I prefer strong white bread flour to plain flour for scones & breads.

Raera Mon 29-Jul-19 20:57:04

A few drops of lemon juice into the milk and then micro zap for about 20 seconds

Reallybadidea Mon 29-Jul-19 20:58:54

Oh and I use a mixture of yogurt and milk instead of buttermilk/adding lemon juice.

IrenetheQuaint Mon 29-Jul-19 20:58:59

Marking place as I am in the OP's position!

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 29-Jul-19 20:59:01

Wolfmy Cream Scone Woman was Australian!

Julykthat Mon 29-Jul-19 21:00:34

This is a fail safe recipe:
8oz self raising flour
3oz soft butter
1.5oz caster sugar
1 egg beaten with buttermilk (but ordinary milk will do fine) to 5 floz

Rub butter into flour. Stir in caster sugar and any flavours you want (cinnamon, Cocoa, ginger) or fruit (raisins, chocolate chips, etc) then stir in egg/buttermilk mix until you have a fairly firm, not too wet mix. Cut into the shape you want at the height you want, brush with extra beaten egg and sprinkle with demarara sugar and bake at 225°c for 15 -20mins or until golden.

The important bit is to cut them high and bake them hot!

LightsCameraAction Mon 29-Jul-19 21:00:38

This is the recipe I use - lemon juice to replicate buttermilk, very little handling, pat rather than roll and place on a hot roasting tin. Always delicious.

www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4622/classic-scones-with-jam-and-clotted-cream

CatalogueUniverse Mon 29-Jul-19 21:03:28

I was taught to use a knife to bring the dough together helps with the over working.

greenfrog21 Mon 29-Jul-19 21:05:12

Have you tried Delia's recipes? I don't bake a huge amount and would by no means call myself a natural cook, but made Delia's plain scones and cheese scones last week for DD2's 1st birthday and they were both delicious. She has a fruit scone recipe too I think, which I've not tried.

242Mummy Mon 29-Jul-19 21:08:37

I hardly touch the dough! Use the pastry cutter blade of your Magimix or equivalent piece of kitchen equipment and blitz till it comes together - don't rub in.

Pop onto work surface, push gently together, approx 1.5" thick then cut out. Always works for me!

WinkyisbackontheButterBeer Mon 29-Jul-19 22:26:04

Right. Thank you all. I am feeling inspired. Lots to think about there.
It sounds like I am overworking the dough and have indeed been using a rolling pin and cooling uncovered.
I am going to have a look at the recipes and have a crack at some on Wednesday.
Thank you all so much.

Oh, and jam then cream. Obviously!

OP’s posts: |
RNBrie Mon 29-Jul-19 22:28:35

I use delia's recipe too. Handle the dough as little as possible, roll the dough much thicker than you expect and don't twist the cutter.

blodynmawr Wed 31-Jul-19 17:26:37

I second the Paul Hollywood recipe posted by Stationeryqueen. I literally stir it all together and minimise the amount of handling/kneading to give a light texture.
Made a batch on Monday. They keep well and they are still fine today - warmed in oven for 5 min. smile

SallyOMalley Wed 31-Jul-19 17:31:01

I use the same recipe as lights camera action. I'm no baker, but I can turn out mean scone! This recipe creates towering scones!

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