Scones are a quick bread that is often made with flour, butter, eggs, and milk. They can be sweet or savory, and are typically served with tea or coffee.
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Scones are a delightful teatime delicacy and correctly made have a delicious crumbly texture. Traditionally enjoyed with lashings of jam and clotted cream, these little domed buns are an integral part of British culinary traditions.
American scones are sweeter and usually enjoyed with a delightful selection of fruit, nuts, and chocolate inside the base and enjoyed on their own.
Long associated with the Scots, the humble unleavened oatmeal and flour cakes have evolved into the little domed turrets we enjoy today.
Plain scones are deceptively simple to make, with few key ingredients but are notoriously tricky to make with the perfect crumb.
The flour and butter mixture should be kept as cold as possible, and the dough needs a delicate touch to allow the scone to reach its perfect height and texture.
Scones are a guilty pleasure that few can resist and are famous around the world as a delicious treat.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, scones had their first mention in 1513, although their origins stretch way back into antiquity. The precise origins of this glorious little bake are in dispute, but Scotland is the likely source.
The Scots made these plate-sized monster scones out of a mixture of oatmeal and flour baked on a flat griddle and cut into wedges. These scones were unleavened, meaning that they held no rising agents and were relatively flat compared to our modern-day scones.
Even today, the Scots use the name “Bannock” interchangeably with that of scone.
Some historians believe that the scone took its name from the town Scone in Scotland, where monarchs were crowned on a special stone called the Stone of Scone.
The American version of the traditional scone is usually a more dense, triangular cake with more sugar than the English variety. This sweetness is because the British scone is traditionally topped with sweet jam, lemon curd, and clotted cream, while the American version usually has fruit in the mixture itself.
I'm going to use the traditional British style scone in my ingredient list, although there is no definitive way to make a scone. In fact, some scone recipes are passed down for generations and are closely guarded family secrets.
Luckily the base ingredients are almost always the following:
- Cake flour
- Baking powder
- Castor sugar
- Eggs (for the mix and glaze.)
Scones Nutritional Information
The Food Standards Agency in the UK conducted a study on the nutritional information on a variety of scones sold in Ireland. Some of the larger, luxury scones tipped the scales at over 700 calories per bun!
The high butter content makes scones somewhat flattening, and with the added clotted creams and jams, the humble scone can take up to a third of your daily calories!
The average plain scone is around 317 calories per 100g according to the FSA and about 11g of fat per 100g. Saturated fats average out at 4.9 per bun.
How to Make Scones
Although it seems fairly simple to follow a scone recipe, there is quite an art to making a delightfully crumbly scone that is so sought after. The key is to keep your ingredients cold and not overwork your dough. A heavy hand will surely make a dense and hard scone.
Traditionally the butter is rubbed into the dry ingredients with the fingertips or a processor until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
The liquid ingredients are then stirred into the mix to form a sticky dough. Then the dough is gently tipped onto a floured surface, and a pastry cutter is used to shape the scrumptious rounds. A light egg wash before baking makes for a lovely browned dome.
The Americans are the most adventurous when it comes to their scones, while the British versions are quite classic and typically include the sultana studded variety.
American scone varieties include:
- Fruit such as berries and apples
- Chocolate chips
- Peanut butter
- Candied ginger
- Cinnamon chips.
Two more variations of the classic scone are the following:
- Drop scones are more like a pancake cooked on a stovetop and are smaller and thicker than American pancakes.
- The griddle scone is not baked in the oven but on a hot griddle instead and is thinner and triangular-shaped rather than the classic domed shape.
There are many scone recipes available online and in cookbooks. The basic ingredients are usually flour, butter, eggs, and milk, but there are variations depending on the desired flavor.
A scone is typically denser than a biscuit, and is often sweeter as well. Biscuits are also usually round, while scones can be any shape.
Scones are traditionally served with tea or coffee. They can be eaten plain, or with butter, jam, or cream.
Yes, scones can be frozen. Once they are baked, allow them to cool completely before wrapping and freezing. When you’re ready to eat them, thaw the scones at room temperature and then reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Scones will last for a few days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. If you want them to last longer, you can freeze them (see question 5).
The scone dough is traditionally made with flour, butter, eggs, and milk. However, there are variations depending on the desired flavor.
Scones can be eaten plain, or with butter, jam, or cream. They are typically served with tea or coffee.
Scones come in a variety of flavors, including fruit, chocolate, cheese, and savory. You can also find scones that are gluten-free or vegan.
The origin of scones is unknown, but they are believed to have originated in the British Isles.
The number of calories in a scone depends on the recipe and ingredients used. However, scones are generally high in calories due to the butter and eggs.
A scone is traditionally made with flour, butter, eggs, and milk. However, there are variations depending on the desired flavor.
Some scones do contain gluten, while others are gluten-free. It depends on the recipe and ingredients used.
Scones are not typically considered to be healthy, due to the high calorie content. However, there are some recipes that use healthier ingredients such as whole wheat flour or Greek yogurt.
There are many scone recipes available online and in cookbooks. The best scone recipe is the one that you enjoy the most!
There are a few scone recipes available that do not require eggs. These recipes typically use another leavening agent such as baking powder or vinegar.
There are a few scone recipes available that do not require milk. These recipes typically use another liquid such as water, juice, or coffee.
Yes, scones can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Alternatively, you can freeze the scones (see question 5).
No, scones do not need to be refrigerated. However, if you make them ahead of time, you can store them in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
The baking time for scones will vary depending on the recipe. However, scones typically take about 10-15 minutes to bake.