Baking a Scone is half measure science, half measure artistry. As a youngster, living in Stoke, I worked in some kitchens to earn some cash on a Saturday. I shared the kitchen with a wonderful Italian chef who used to make the most extraordinary pastries. Exquisite. But he could not make Scone if his life depends on it.
I used to come to work on a Saturday morning and he’d be there, near in tears with some flat, burnt, hard Scones tossed around the kitchen. He made it his mission every Saturday morning to get in the kitchen before anyone else came in, to create Scones. Every week he’d fail.
So, if you’ve mastered Scones you’ll like this story, it’ll make you feel good. But if you’re looking for a new recipe this is my favourite. I have been reluctant to share it but due to public pressure, clogging up my Twitter, I have agreed to share it so Enjoy.
1 – Put a baking sheet in the oven at 220C for fan or 200 for gas 7. Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor, then whizz in the butter until it disappears. Pulse in the sugar, tip into a large bowl, then make a well in the middle.
2 – Warm the yogurt, milk and vanilla together in the microwave for 1 min or in a pan; it should be hot and may well go a bit lumpy-looking. Tip into the bowl and quickly work into the flour mix using a cutlery knife. Stop as soon as it’s all in.
3 – Tip the dough onto a floured surface, then, with floured hands, fold the dough over a few times – just enough to create a smoothish dough. Press out to about 4cm/1½in thick, dip a 7cm cutter into more flour, then stamp out 4 rounds, flouring the cutter each time. Squash the remainder lightly together, then repeat until the dough is used up. Brush tops with egg wash, scatter flour over the hot sheet, then lift the scones on. Bake for 12 minutes until risen and golden. Best eaten just-warm, or on the day.