One of my favorite chefs from the UK is James Martin. Not only is he a cutie pie and funny as well, he makes cooking and baking look so easy, whether he’s standing on the rocks bordering the Irish Sea or in the middle of a lush field in Wales, James throws things into a skillet, cooks it, and within a few minutes his creation is ready to eat. He recently did a master class in scones (skahns or skons (long “o”) – depending on your preferred pronunciation and I tinkered with it to please our tastes.
Just be sure to “mis en place” your ingredients. You’ll need them one right after another and you don’t want to stop and measure with sticky flour all over your hands. Also, you’ll notice my measurements are metric. It’s so much easier to plop a bowl onto a scale (the BEST kitchen tool around) than to drag out several different cup measuring implements. It also makes clean up easier. Now – let’s get baking!
Mis en Place:
400g strong white flour (all-purpose)
Flour for bench and cutter
5 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
100g unsalted butter. Cold. Diced.
300ml full fat milk
150g grated cheddar cheese
A few sprigs of thyme
1 egg yolk for the egg wash
Pastry cutter – 2 ¾ inch
Pre-heat oven to 425F
Cover baking tray with parchment and set aside.
Place the scale level on the counter. Put a large bowl on the scale and zero it.
Flour. Baking Powder.
Measure the flour into the large bowl. Zero the scale. Add baking powder. Zero the scale.
Remove the bowl from the scale and add the cubes of butter. Use your fingers to mix the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Milk. Egg. Cheese. Thyme.
Put the bowl back onto the scale and zero it. Add milk. Zero the scale. Add cheese. Zero the scale. Add thyme and mix with your hands until it all comes together in a smooth dough.
Flour. Dough. Pastry Cutter.
Sprinkle flour lightly over the bench and pour the dough from the bowl onto the bench. Knead it a few more times, then start to roll.
Roll the dough until it’s ¾ inch (2 cm) thick.
Using a 2 ¾-inch cutter (7cm), dip it into the extra flour and start to cut the scones from the dough.
Re-roll the dough and cut until you have 12 scones.
Whisk the egg yolk and using the pastry brush, cover the tops of the scones with the wash.
Bake for 12-17 minutes, depending on your oven. Check frequently, and when the tops are brown and look crispy, remove from the oven.
Let the scones cool for several minutes.
Split a scone and slather it with jam and clotted cream, bacon and cheese or the topping of your choice.
There’s no better way to welcome a lazy Sunday into your life.