Plain scones are the basic base from which all scones are made and can be savoury or, with the addition of sugar, sweet.
Sieve together 8 ounces of self-raising flour with a teaspoon of baking powder – sometimes I leave out the sieving and just mix it up with my hands as I like to feel the flour. Rub in two ounces of butter between your fingers until the mix resembles fine bread crumbs. I cut really cold butter into cubes and toss them in the flour before I do this but if you want to you can grate the butter in. Grating the butter gets you there faster. If you have warm hands then put them until a cold tap as it helps to prevent the butter from melting and spoiling the mix.
If you’re making a sweet scone then stir in 2 ounces of sugar. I lift the mix up as I’m doing this as I feel it adds some air and also I can pretend I’m a drama queen chef doing a television show.
Measure out about 150 millilitres of cold milk and add about 100 millilitres of this to the mix – blend it in with an ordinary dining knife (I use once that belonged to my gran which she called a bread & butter knife – great for mixing) adding more of the milk until you have a nice firm dough. Too much liquid is better than too little but remember that adding liquid to flour isn’t an exact thing as it all depends on the flour. Flour can be a bit of a drama queen.
Turn the mix out on too a well floured board and shape, with your hands, into a rectangular shape pressing lightly on it to get the shape. Flour your hands if your dough is a bit on the sticky side. I just cut the dough up into squares or triangles at this point – I’m not selling them in a café, they don’t have to be a uniform shape and I think you get a better rise from them. Brush them lightly with a little milk though some people do like to use a beaten egg to get a glossy look.
Bake in a preheated oven on a lightly greased baking sheet – I go for 180 (fan oven) for 8 – 10 minutes then put on a cooling rack until cool enough to eat. I eat them warm because I’m too greedy to wait until they’re completely cool which is why I’m fat.