I occasionally pick up books on scones. Sometimes I do this for reference, sometimes looking for flavor ideas, and sometimes, well, just because. After all, I can’t claim to have grown up with a Scottish granny who taught me all her secrets, so everything I know about scone making has been learned by reading and the trial and error method of baking.
I recently purchased The National Trust Book of Scones (that would be the National Trust of the UK), and want to share some of the author’s tips on scone making. Some should sound very familiar!
1. Work quickly and lightly throughout–do NOT overwork the dough.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to prevent it sticking. When patting out your dough, do not press too hard as this may prevent the scones from rising to their full height.
3. If using a cutter (ie. a round biscuit cutter), press STRAIGHT DOWN–do not twist. This should help the scones rise evenly, rather than bind at one side and bake lop-sided.
4. Line your baking sheet with either parchment paper or Silpat.
5. Scones need to go into a preheated oven. The baking time is short and they need to start baking immediately.
6. When you take your scones out of the oven, transfer them to a cooling rack to prevent ‘soggy bottoms’.
and lastly. . .
7. Always eat scones fresh–on the day of baking. But we all knew that, didn’t we???