For such seemingly simple little cakes scones have such a big presence. People argue over how to pronounce them, they argue over how to serve them, they are found in every National Trust tearoom ( probably every tearoom), there are blogs just about them and the search for the perfect scone, there are recipe books about all the different flavours you can make (one book has 50 flavour variances). See, big presence. Well, big if you live in Great Britian, as they are quintessentially British.
They are also the thorn in many bakers side. Many a baker had shed tears, me included, over flat pancake looking scones, and uttered the phrase, ‘but they taste lovely’. I’m talking tears over regular ones, not vegan ones or heaven forbid gluten free ones. They caused even more tears.
Before I could go in search of how to make a perfect scone, I had to decide what actually makes a scone perfect. To me, a perfect scone is one that has a nice rise to it, a crusty outer with a soft inner. The inner should not be cakey or bread like in texture, but something inbetween.
To start with, my research left me baffled, I mean, how can such a simple cake, with simple ingredients have so many different recipes. Each recipe seemed to use different measures of the same ingredients and each said they had a little trick that helped them rise. But it was only when I combined all the information together that I baked the perfect scone. When mastering free-from scones, I discovered what works for one kind won’t work for others. Each kind of free-from needs to be treated a little bit different, but some of the best tips do apply to all types.
Following these tips will only take you so far, the right recipe and right ingredients are also needed. You will find my plain scone recipe in the Community Freebies classrooms, under Bonus Recipe. That’s a dairy free one, a gluten free one and a vegan one.
Lots of things to think about when baking these ‘simple’ British cakes. But, I think they worth taking the time to master, much like a Victoria sponge. Once you have mastered the plain recipe, you can have fun experimenting with flavours, sweet and savoury.
Still unsure or have some questions? Pop over to our online baking club over on Facebook and ask, I’m almost always around.