I was planning to kick this off with a chicken and spring vegetables dish that I’d made last week but my sister-in-(common)law is coming over with my super cute niece so I’m making scones and thought this would be a good way to ease into this blogging bizzo. You’ll probably get a lot of that so-and-so-in-common-law here because I’ve got two brothers and my partner has a brother (and parents) and none of us are married and probably never will be, it’s just a wee bit easier and less weird than saying “my older brother’s partner”. It was instituted by my partner’s mum (my mother-in-common-law – ha!) as a way to distinguish who I was and has entered our everyday lexicon.
Anyway, scones. This scone recipe comes via a good mate but it originally came from that magical bastion of rigid no-nonsense, the CWA. Hopefully they don’t come after me – some of those ladies can wield a whisk with startling accuracy.
This is the easiest and greatest scone recipe and really if you just follow the instructions you can’t get it wrong – no cutting in butter, none of that arseing-about-with-lemonade business, it just works and is very impressive and takes all of 17 minutes. The only real advice I have is about oven temperature.
Firstly – remember to preheat the oven, this is not like bunging some veggies in to roast where you can do it from cold if you forgot to turn the oven on and – whatever – it’ll be fine. It won’t be fine, this requires a short blast of high temperature.
Secondly – about your oven – the cooking temp for this recipe is 220-230°. If you have a well sealed, fan forced oven like me you probably want to lop 10-20° off that otherwise you will have a scone that is burned to shit on the outside and probably damp and raw-ish in the middle. Gross.
And if, on the other hand, you live in a share house such as the one we recently moved out of and your oven appears to have been there for as long as there have been ovens that don’t actually function by you building a fire inside them – and therefore any seal it ever had melted away decades ago – maybe just try turning the knob up as high as it goes. It’s not like you can read the numbers anymore anyway, they could be in Fahrenheit for all you know.
The Only Scones
3 cups/450g SR flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup/125ml cream
1-1 ½ cups/250-355ml milk*
Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Cut in the cream and milk with a knife. Work quickly into an approximation of a dough – it should be sort of just holding together and probably will still have a few crumbs hanging about at the bottom of the bowl. It will be a little sticky and you might be tempted to add a little more flour, don’t. It’s not a bread dough – it’s more like pastry – touch it as little as possible. If you think you can make it come together with only the power of your mind so much the better.
Turn out onto a mediumly floured bench. Gently – nay, lovingly – pat the dough into a 1 ½-2cm high rectangle and cut into 12 little squares. Put them on a greased or floured tray (I greased and floured mine because I’m anal that way).
Place on the top shelf of a vey hot oven, 220-230° (see notes above about this), for 10-12 minutes. Serve with jam and whipped cream. Try not to eat them all in one go because you will get a tummy ache and be really cross with yourself.
Also, because there’s no sugar in the mix if you have any left you can use them to accompany a savoury meal in the same way you would normally have bread. Or eat them with cheese. Or cheese and vegemite (I can hear your judgement but I’m not ashamed).
*I’ve always only needed the one cup of milk but if you find you need a little more, go for it