Everybody needs a great, classic scone recipe!!! These are really quick plain scones you’ll make again and again.
These scones are made with a food processor which is not only faster, it eliminates the risk of common pitfalls. Soft and fluffy insides, golden tops, serve them with copious amounts of jam and cream for the ultimate classic afternoon experience.
Classic plain scone recipe
Perhaps the simplest of all baked goods in this entire world, the humble scone surely conjures up fond memories for every Aussie. Gatherings with family and friends, school bake sales, fundraising morning teas at work, a quaint little cafe in the Southern Highlands, or your grandmother’s kitchen.
(Your grandmother, not mine. Mine lived in Tokyo and hated cooking. I would have died of shock if she ever baked anything. Or refused to eat it out of suspicion 😂).
Plain scones – made easy!
This is how I make plain scones. They are soft and fluffy on the inside, with the signature “flaky folds” when you break it open, and a golden rustic-but-not-too-rustic top:
Food processor. Self raising flour and cold butter – blitz 8 seconds. Add milk – blitz 8 seconds until ball forms.
Turn dough out, knead lightly 10 times (no more), lightly roll across the top to smooth surface. Cut scones out, bake 12 minutes.
No egg. No lard. No cream. No sugar. Why complicate something that’s already perfect?
Food processor, all the way
“Food processor?”, I hear traditionalists gasp in shock.
Yes. (She says firmly). Food processor. Not only is it faster with literally zero effort, it eliminates a lot of “risk factors” when it comes to making scones (eg overworking dough, melting butter with hot hands) and the dough comes together better. Softer and smoother, which means your scones will have a smoother top compared to handmade ones.
Here’s a comparison of the finger-rubbing method vs food processor. They are virtually identical in terms of rise and fluffy-factor, but the surface of the food processor scone is noticeably smoother.
Not that there’s anything wrong with a rustic top on scones. Scones are, after all, humble and rustic food, not intended to look like something from a Michelin star patisserie. 🙂
Essential Tips for making the BEST Scones!
It alarms me that I feel like I could write an entire essay on scones, so I’m restraining myself and summarising final tips for your new scone making life.
1. Resist the urge to twist – I feel like my hand always wants to twist when pressing the cutter into the dough. Resist the urge. Push straight down and pull straight back up. This will ensure your scones rise and they rise straight, not wonky.
2. Don’t smooth the sides once cut – For the same reason as above. So when handling the cut scones, minimise touching the cut sides.
3. Knead 10 times, no more – Kneading the dough makes the surface of scones smoother with a more even rise. However, many recipes will tell you never to knead the dough because it would make the scones tough.
After decades of scone making, I can definitively tell you – scones can take kneading. I have found that 10 light kneads does not affect the fluffiness, rise or softness of scones at all, but it does make the scones smoother on the surface.
So 10 kneads. That’s my rule!
4. How do you serve scones? With copious amounts of of jam and cream, with coffee and tea. I know not of any other way. 🤷🏻♀️
What’s the difference between a biscuit and a scone? That’s biscuits as they’re known in America that look like scones! A southern classic served savoury, fabulous with grits, sausage gravy and eggs. And a comparison of this humble Aussie scone recipe with this New York Times Biscuits recipe verifies that they are indeed made the same way – just used for different purposes. 🙂
Should scones have egg? Some recipes do, but it’s much softer and fluffier without egg (because egg binds better but removes moisture from baked goods). I tried with and without side by side just to be 100% sure.
Are scones British? Yes, we Aussies have the Brits to thank for brining scones to our shores. 🙂
Why are my scones lopsided? To avoid wonky scones, see Tip #1 above: press the cutter straight up and down, do not twist. And avoid touching the sides when transferring to the baking tray.
How long to scones keep? Scones are best served on the day they are made but will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Just warm them before serving to make them soft and fluffy.
The great Aussie scone. Old fashioned comfort food that will never go out of fashion.
Interestingly, someone told me the other day that apparently there’s a Great Debate in the UK about whether jam or cream should be dolloped on first. The thought of cream first then dolloping jam on the cream never even crossed my mind!
Someone, please explain!! 😂 – Nagi x
More Aussie favourites
Lemonade Scones 3 ingredient shortcut scones!
And more afternoon tea favourites
Cinnamon Swirl Bread – easy, no yeast!
Cheese, Herb and Garlic Loaf or Zucchini Cheese Loaf– quick bread, no yeast
Blueberry Lemon Loaf with Lemon Glaze or Blueberry Lemon Yoghurt Cake
Savoury Cheese Muffins or Cornbread Muffins (personal fave😇)
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
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- 3 cups / 450g self raising flour (Note 1)
- 80 g / 3 oz cold salted butter , cut into 1 cm / 2/5" cubes (Note 2)
- 1 cup / 250 ml milk, fridge cold (Note 2)
- Extra flour , for dusting
- Extra milk , for brushing
- Strawberry jam (or other of choice)
- 250 ml / 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F (standard) or 180C/350F (fan / convection).
- Place flour in food processor, then butter. Blitz on high for 8 seconds until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Pour milk all over the flour (don't pour in one place). Blitz for 6 to 8 seconds on high until the crumbs turn into ball(s).
- Transfer dough onto work surface, scrape out residual bits in the food processor.
- Knead lightly no more than 10 times just to bring the dough together into one smooth ball, then pat down into a 2 cm / 4/5" thick disc. Dust with extra flour if necessary (I don't need it).
- Optional: Lightly roll across the top with a rolling pin to smooth the top.
- Dip a 5 cm / 2" round cutter into Extra Flour.
- Plunge cutter straight down and back out into dough - do not twist. Repeat all over disc.
- Remove excess dough from around scones, then carefully transfer scones onto baking tray, taking care not to smear / press the cut sides. (Note 4)
- Gather together dough scraps and repeat. I get 10 scones in total.
- Brush tops lightly with milk. (Optional)
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the top is golden and it sounds hollow when tapped.
- Remove from oven, then transfer onto dish towel and wrap loosely (makes top soft).
- Once cooled to warm (10 - 15 minutes), serve warm.
- Tradition is to split the scone with hands (no knife!), slather with jam and dollop on cream.
- Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Makes 2 cups of whipped cream.
LIFE OF DOZER
Of course I didn’t give him an entire scone piled high with jam and cream…… I mean, that face? I can totally resist.
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