The scone is undoubtedly the most quintessential British food item. It’s the sort of recipe that is passed down from generation to generation, made as a teatime snack or it can be found for sale at a local cafe. Wherever a traveler looks in England, they are sure to find some.
Designed to be taken with a cup of tea, this old quick bread is usually dressed up with a spot of jam or a dollop of clotted cream. A true British scone is simple, lacking the fat and sugar that has come to be associated with the American version.
The basic recipe
2 cups of flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup margarine
2 tbsp of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
2 tbsp milk
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. To reduce clean up, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil.
2. Mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In the absence of cream of tartar, try replacing it and the baking soda with a teaspoon of baking powder.
3. Cut the margarine into the dough until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs.
4. Stir in the sugar and 1/2 cup of milk so the mixture makes soft dough. Be careful not to over mix as that will make the scones tough.
5. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to be about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into shape of choice and lay out on the baking sheet.
6. Glaze with the 2 tbsp of milk.
7. Bake for 10 minutes or until brown.
To bring another flavor into this basic dish, try adding some fresh or dried blueberries. To make this modification, knead in about 1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries or 3/4 cups dried blueberries after adding in the milk and sugar. Then bake as directed.
Cheddar and Spinach Scone
To make the scones a little more savory and a little more like a meal, add some spinach and cheddar into the dough. After mixing in the sugar and milk, add in about a quarter pound of grated cheddar cheese and half of a package of thawed and drained frozen spinach. Thoroughly knead the ingredients into the dough and then bake as directed.
Chocolate Chip Scone
To satisfy a sweet tooth, try mixing some chocolate chips into the basic dough. Add in about a cup before rolling out the dough.
Katie Landeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.