Scones are somewhere in between cakes and quick breads, and resembling in texture to an American biscuit.
They are usually made with wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, milk and sometimes eggs, but you can always add your own personal touch to them.
Let’s head to the kitchen and get baking!
But first, let’s learn a bit more about scones.
The first time that there is a print record of scones ever being mentioned was in 1513 by a Scottish poet. Traditionally, they are related to an ancient Welsh tradition – cooking small round yeast cakes primarily on bakestones and later on griddles (broad flat cooking surfaces).
Some claim that scones are named after the Stone (scone) of Destiny, a stone upon which Scottish kings sat in coronation; others say that the name derives from the Gaelic term "sgonn", meaning "a shapeless mass or large mouthful".
The scone may also be related with the Dutch "schonbroot", a fine white bread, or with the German "sconbrot", meaning fine or beautiful bread.
The original scone recipe was made with oats and shaped into a large round that was then cut into 4 or 6 wedges and baked in a griddle over an open fire (later substituted for a stovetop).
They became more popular and essential to the ritual of taking tea in England when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861), one late afternoon, ordered her servants to bring in tea and sweet breads, which included scones.
She was so delighted that she ordered scones to be served in every afternoon in what soon became the English tradition of "Afternoon Tea Time", at precisely 4:00pm.
How should you pronounce the word "scone"?
You may have heard it pronounced in two different ways and both are correct: in Scotland and Northern England the word is pronounced "skahn" (rhymes with gone) whereas in the south of England, as well as in the U.S. and in Canada, the word is pronounced "skoan" (rhymes with tone).
If you bake them yourself, you can pronounce "scones" anyway you like, they will always taste great and you made them!
Baking the plain scone recipe requires a few common ingredients that are easy to find.
The Scone Recipe:
Preparation Time: 30 minutes (approx.)
Baking Time: 12-15 minutes
It may seem to have many steps, but this is a really easy scone recipe!
Get your scone cooking utensils now!
Now that you have learnt to make regular scones, it is time to use your imagination and create unique variations and original flavors.
It is your turn! Don’t be afraid to experiment with this scone recipe and add flavors you love.
In Britain scones are still served daily with the traditional clotted cream and jam topping.
What is clotted cream, exactly?
Well, it is a silky, pale yellow cream that holds a fine distinctive crust on the surface. This special cream is made by indirectly heating unpasteurized cow’s milk using steam or a water bath, and leaving it in a shallow pan for many hours, causing the cream to rise to the surface in "clots" or "clouds".
This cream should have a thick and smooth feeling and contain at least 55% butterfat. It originally comes from Devon and Cornwall in the South Western region of England but nowadays it is also successfully produced in Yorkshire. Many describe clotted cream as having a "nutty, cooked milk" flavor.
Which should be spread first on the scone? The jam or the cream?
The debate is divided between those who use the Cornwall approach - jam first, then cream – and those who prefer the Devon approach – cream first and then jam.
One could argue in favor of the latter, but this is just one opinion, saying that this way the scone itself won’t be soaked with jam and that the cream creates a natural impermeable barrier between scone and jam, enhancing both flavors.
Both approaches however, seem to be in agreement that a scone should never be eaten like a sandwich – squeezing the two halves together will result in a catastrophic spillage of jam and cream all over your hands. A scone should be cut in half, then you should cover each half with cream and jam (or jam and cream if you prefer it) and then eaten separately.
But what about savory scones?
According to the scone recipe above, savory scones usually have little to no sugar in the recipe and will probably not taste well if covered in a sweet jam.
Consider alternatives such as:
Serve your scones with style!
Are you ready to try this scone recipe?
Most importantly have fun
and enjoy a good scone with your tea!
"Tea is naught but this: First you heat the water, then you make the tea, then you drink it properly. That is all you need to know." - Rikyû, 16th century Tea Master
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