Proper English Scones

Proper English Scones
Proper English Scones
For those of us here in Canada and the US, if you go looking for a recipe for good English scones, you will often be met with the imprecise task of converting the weight measurements that are always used in British recipes into the cup measurements that we use in North America. You also have to sometimes deal with ingredients like self raising flour which I've never actually used in 40 years of baking.

This recipe demystifies the process for you, using our more familiar measurement system in a tried and true recipe that I've used for years. There are plenty of other scone recipes on Rock Recipes but I don't use eggs in most of my scones because I prefer the textural difference of the crispier edges against the soft tender baked inside. This recipe does include egg for a softer scone which goes so beautifully well with jam and cream.

This is rather a small batch and the scones themselves are small, using my smallest biscuit cutter. If you need more however the recipe is easily doubled without affecting the texture of your scones. The dainty size is quite nice for afternoon tea but if you like them larger, you can also just form the dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick and cut it with a sharp knife into 8 wedges like pieces of pie. These will take a little longer to bake; about 20 minutes. The larger size is quite nice to serve at a weekend brunch but any way you enjoy them, you're sure to make these again and again.

Proper English Scones

Recipe by Barry C. Parsons

A proper English scones recipe using North American measurements instead of weight measures. Perfect with thick cream and your favorite homemade jam.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: 18 1 1/2 inch scones

  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • pinch table salt table salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Pulse to mix together well. (You can just mix the ingredients in a bowl if you prefer the manual method)
  3. Pulse in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (or just use your fingertips to rub the butter through the dry ingredients until the same texture is achieved.)
  4. Whisk together the milk, egg and vanilla. Reserve a few teaspoons of the liquid to brush on top of the scones. This helps them brown nicely)
  5. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir in quickly with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. It should be a little sticky. Don't over work the dough or your scones will get tough and not rise well.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a well floured board or counter top.
  7. Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and just using your hands, form the dough into a round about 3/4 of an inch thick.
  8. Using a 1 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, cut out your scones and place them about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Re-roll the scraps and cut out the rest of the scones. Brush the tops of all the scones with the reserved milk and egg liquid.
  10. Pop the scones into the hot oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops of the scones are evenly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
  11. Serve with thick or clotted cream and your favorite jam. 
Proper English Scones
Proper English Scones

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