Easy Plain Scone Recipe

Last weekend we decided that we would catch the last of summer and do a bush walk down to the beach in our local national park. Seeing the beautiful summer day outside, we all put on shorts and t-shirts with our cozies on underneath. We managed to walk down to the beach (approx 30 minutes) in the sun shine, but just as we arrived it bucketed down. And when I say bucketed, I mean bucketed, cats and dogs (and their kittens and puppies too)! It turned a beautiful summer day into a cold rainy afternoon in minutes.

So we walked out (very quickly) in the pouring rain, and when we got home and out of our soggy clothes, I decided to make scones to warm us up with a cup of tea. There is nothing better than just out of the oven, piping hot, traditional scones (none of this lemonade scone rubbish, why put fizzy sugary drink into a scone??) on a wet rainy afternoon.

I have used Margaret Fulton’s recipe for years; it honestly is foolproof, and you can have them made and on the table in under 20 minutes.

Basic Plain Scone Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 cups self raising flour (OR 3 cups plain flour plus 4 1/2 tsp baking powder)
  • Large pinch salt
  • 60 g cold butter
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk (the exact quantity of milk will depend on the flour and the temperature/humidity of the day)
  • Cream (you may want to whip pure cream, or just purchase thick, rich clotted cream)
  • Raspberry jam (I prefer raspberry, but you could use any jam you like)

Basic Plain Scone Recipe Method

Preheat the oven to 220ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and ‘rub’ the butter into the flour between your fingertips and thumbs. This should only take a few minutes; once you are done the mixture should look similar to breadcrumbs.

Pour in one cup of the milk, and using a metal knife (yes, a knife, not a spoon or fork or wooden spoon) ‘cut’ the milk into the flour. Don’t over work the mixture, just use a light cutting action with the knife, and stop when it starts to come together loosely (it is fine to have lumps and pockets of flour here and there). If the mixture looks too dry, add the remaining milk and cut it into the mixture lightly.

Tip the mixture out onto a floured bench and knead lightly 3 times (to knead the mixture, start from the edge of the dough closest to you and using the heel of your palm ‘push’ the mixture lightly away from you, then repeat another two times). Roll or pat out to 2cm thickness and cut out circles using a scone cutter or glass (approx 4cm diametre). You may need to dip the cutter/glass into flour in between times so the dough doesn’t get stuck.

Place scones on the prepared baking tray so they are touching one another and brush their tops with milk. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the tray around and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove them from the oven, place in a basket lined with a clean tea towel and wrap the tea towel over the scones, so they an enclosed. This will steam them, so they become soft and fluffy, and will also help them keep warm while you are eating.

Place the jam and cream into individual ramekins and serve with the warm scones.