I use strong white bread flour in my scones which might seem surprising,
but it’s actually a popular choice in professional kitchens because the high
protein content gives the scones a real boost. This recipe is tried and tested
over many years and I’ve never had any complaints. The Queen Mother even
said they were the best scones she’d ever tasted! Just a couple of things to
bear in mind: don’t overwork the dough, you want it nice and light, and don’t
twist the cutter when you lift it off or else they won’t rise properly in the oven.
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra to dust
25g baking powder
80g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 medium eggs
80g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
Icing sugar, to dust
1. Line two baking trays with baking paper. In a large bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together. Add the butter and rub together with your fingers for a few minutes until you have a breadcrumb-like texture.
2. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and sugar. Add to the rubbed-in mixture and stir together until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over a few times to incorporate air, but do not knead it; you want to achieve a loose, soft dough. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out to a 3cm thickness, making sure there is plenty of flour underneath to prevent sticking.
3. Using a scone cutter, about 6.5cm in diameter, and pressing firmly (without twisting the cutter), cut out rounds and place on the lined baking trays, leaving space in between. Brush the tops of the scones with beaten egg then place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.
4. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7.
5. Take the scones out of the fridge and brush them again with the egg glaze. Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden brown.
6. Transfer the scones to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Dust lightly with icing sugar and serve with a generous helping of jam and clotted cream.
Taken from Paul Hollywood’s BAKE, published by Bloomsbury
Photograph © Haarala Hamilton