Scones are the cornerstone of all good baking repertoires. The techniques of rubbing in and mixing with a flat-bladed knife are both required, and if done with a light touch will produce light, fluffy scones. This recipe will have you whipping up a perfect batch of scones in just 30 minutes.
450 g (1 lb/3 cups) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
75 g (2¾ oz) chilled unsalted butter, chopped
2½ tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar, plus extra, for sprinkling
300 ml (10½ fl oz) milk or buttermilk, plus extra, for brushing
Berry jam and whipped cream, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
2. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. With your palms facing upwards, use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre, add the milk and mix in with a flat-bladed knife, using a cutting action, until the dough comes together in clumps. Use lightly floured hands to gently gather the dough, then transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and knead very lightly until it comes together.
3. Working quickly, pat the dough out to a round about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. Use a floured round 7 cm (2¾ inch) cutter to cut out scones and place on the lined tray. Gather the dough trimmings, press out to a 2.5 cm (1 inch) thickness and cut out more rounds. Brush lightly with the extra milk and sprinkle with the extra sugar. Bake the scones for 12-15 minutes, or until they are well risen, golden brown on top and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with the jam and cream.