How To Bake The Perfect Scone

By Val | Dairy Free

May 06
How to bake the perfect scone | Baking Help from The Recipe Box

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.

What Makes A perfect Scone?

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.

Success Did Happen

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.

The Right Recipe

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.

Top Tips For Perfect Scones

  • Make sure your margarine, egg and milk is cold.
  • If using a margarine instead of butter, use a hard margarine not a soft spread. ( find our recommended hard dairy free margarine in this blog post)
  • Make sure your bowl in cold.
  • Handle the dough as little as possible, do not knead and do not play with it.
  • Do not roll your dough, gently press it down and shape it ready for cutting using your hands.
  • Do not press it down too far, it needs to be a good 1 1/2 inch thick.
  • When cutting them out, move the cutter straight down in one go and straight back out, with no twisting.
  • When brushing the egg or milk wash over the top, make sure it doesnt dribble down the sides – the drible will stop that part of the scone rising causing an uneven rise.
  • Bake them on a pre-heated tray.
  • Cook them in a hot oven
  • Do not open the oven whilst they are cooking.
  • To check they are cooked, gently tap the bottom, they will sound hollow.
  • They are best eaten on the day you bake them but they can be warmed up in the microwave the next day and be just as good.

See What I Mean?

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.

Have Questions?

Still unsure or have some questions? Pop over to our online baking club over on Facebook and ask, I’m almost always around.

Happy Baking

Val x