Friday, 20 June 2014

Recipe: Scones For Wimbledon

It's that time of year again, get the Pimms chilled and the strawberries picked (or bought in my case!), Wimbledon starts on Monday!

Last year the fabulous folks at Wimbledon served up 150,000 bath buns, scones, pasties and doughnuts, 7,000 litres of dairy cream and 28,000 kg (112,000 punnets) of English strawberries!  Phew, I'm exhausted just at the thought. 

So, I'm going to make my own scones this weekend ready to devour whilst watching Andy Murray defend his title.  

Don't forget to get the strawberries prepared and the clotted cream ready for the perfect topping.  Here is my favourite and fail safe scone recipe.  Happy baking everyone!
The secret of good scones is not to handle them too much before baking, and to make the mixture on the wet, sticky side. Either eat scones on the day of making or freeze once they have completely cooled.  If time allows, thaw them at room temperature for a couple of hours and then refresh in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes. If you like large scones, this amount of mixture will make 8-10  9cm (3 ½ inch) scones.


450g (1 lb) self-raising flour
2 rounded teaspoons baking powder
75g (3 oz) butter, at room temperature
50g (2 oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
About 225 ml (8 fl oz) milk


Preparation time: about 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Makes about 20 scones

1).  Lightly grease two baking trays. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

2).  Measure the flour and baking powder into a processor. Add the butter and process until a crumble, then add the sugar. Or make by hand by rubbing  the butter into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

3).  Beat the eggs together until blended and make up to a generous 300ml (1/2 pint) with the milk, then put about 2 tablespoons of the egg/milk aside in a cup for glazing the scones later. Gradually add the egg/milk mixture to the dry ingredients until you have a soft dough. It is far better that the scone mixture is on the wet side, sticking to your fingers, as the scones will rise better.

4).  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten it out with your hand, or use a rolling pin, to a thickness of 1-2 cm (1/2 – ¾ inch). Use a 5 cm (2 inch) fluted cutter to stamp out the dough by pushing the cutter straight down into the dough (as opposed to twisting the cutter) then lift it straight out. This ensures that the scones will rise evenly and keep their shape. Gently push the remaining dough together, knead very lightly then re-roll and cut more scones out as before. 

5).  Arrange the scones on the prepared baking trays and brush the tops with the reserved beaten egg/milk mixture to glaze. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the scones are well risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack, covered with a clean tea towel to keep them moist. Serve as fresh as possible, cut in half and spread generously with strawberry jam and top with a good spoonful of thick cream...and a fresh strawberry! 

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