Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Best Basic 4-ingredients Scones

"Mmmmm... Mum! These scones are very delicious!!!"

"Mmmmm... Your scones are way way WAY better than Miss Marple's!!!"

Fyi, Miss Marple's scones (photo and descriptions are at here) are the very popular scones that we tried from Miss Marple's Tearoom, situated along Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd at Sassafras, Victoria. And my scones are better than hers? Hmmm...

Do you want to know why are these plain basic scones so so so delicious? How delicious???

basic classic scones
The Best Basic 4-ingredients Scones

Do you like scones that have a nice crisp biscuity top, moist and fluffy body plus extra milky taste? YES... These scones are exactly like dat! And I must say that they are the best basic scones that I have ever baked!!! Extremely easy and fuss free to bake with just 4 ingredients!!!

How and why?

Due to our latest craze and love for scones, I have been browsing around for scones recipes... Any scones that are special, interesting, extra tasty, extra fluffy, extra fancy and etc etc etc. No doubt that there are tonnes and tonnes of scones recipes everywhere... Then, I have noticed something!!!

After comparing many highly reviewed scones that I have found via food apps and internet, I have noticed that most well-loved basic scone has a body that is actually made of this standard 1:2:3 butter:liquid:flour ratio!!! So, this is why these basic scones are comparable to our favourite Cream Scones at here and somehow way way way better than my previous Ultimate Fluffy Scones at here and at Margaret Fulton's Scones at here. It is all because of the BUTTER!!!

Please allow me to explain further...

This recipe contains 75g butter with 225g flour and so its butter:flour ratio is 1:3.

Margaret Fulton's Scones at here contains 30g butter with 225g flour and so its butter:flour ratio is 1:7.5.

Ultimate Fluffy Scones at here contains 50g butter with 225g flour and so its butter:flour ratio is 1:4.5.

Our favourite Cream Scones at here contains 60g butter with 300g flour but its butter: flour ratio is not 1.5!!! As these scones contain 125ml cream with 35% fat, this contributes an extra 40g butter fat into the scones, thus resulting the final ratio butter:flour to be 1:3!!!

A-ha! Can you see what I see? The similar 1:3 butter:flour ratio is the reason why both these basic scones and our favourite cream scones at here are comparably equally delicious!!! However, these basic scones are slightly fluffier than the cream scones because acidic buttermilk in these scones reacts more with the raising agents in the self raising flour, resulting more raising power and much more fluffy texture.

What can I say? Am I a crazy baking mathematician or what??? LOL!!!

basic classic scones
Plain and simple, yet fluffy and very delicious!!!
These are the BEST basic scones that I have ever baked!

Too confusing? Sorry if I have confused you too much with my "highly profound" scones theory? LOL!

Hmmm... Hope that my following straightforward summary helps.

If you are after scones that are the lightest and fluffiest, please use this Ultimate Fluffy Scones recipe at here.

If you are after old fashioned scones that are crusty on the top and light and fluffy inside, please use this Margaret Fulton's Scones recipe at here.

If you are after scones that are biscuity on the top, moist and FLAKY inside with extra tasty buttery milky taste, please use this Our favourite Cream Scones recipe at here.

If you are after scones that are biscuity on the top, moist and FLUFFY inside with extra tasty buttery milky taste, please use this BEST basic scones at this post!

Most importantly... Please DO NOT replace self-raising flour in these recipes with plain flour (or all purpose flour) plus baking powder. Although the chemistry of both self-raising flour and baking powder added are the same, the raising strength of self-raising flour has shown to be the best for making scones!!! Besides, adding excessive baking powder into plain flour won't work too because the excess amount of baking powder will make the scones yucky with a metallic aftertaste.

And also please DO NOT substitute buttermilk with milk plus vinegar or yogurt. The texture and chemistry reaction of the vinegar-ed milk or yogurt are never the same as buttermilk.

Don't like scones that are too plain???
No worries, you can spice up these basic scones with any of these ingredients:

Any dried fruits
3/4 cup or about 150g dried fruits like cranberries, blueberries, raisins, sultanas, apricot, prunes, dates and etc and chopped the fruits into small 0.5-1 cm pieces if they are too big. Mix the fruits in at the step after the butter is rubbed into the flour mixture.

Any spices
1/2 tsp vanilla or ground cinnamon and etc.
Add vanilla into buttermilk or cream or milk mixture at the step before the liquid ingredient is added to the flour-butter mixture.
Add dry spices into the flour mixture before sifting the flour mixture into the mixing bowl.

Any citrus zest
1 tbsp finely grated lemon or orange zest
Add vanilla into buttermilk or cream or milk mixture at the step before the liquid ingredient is added to the flour-butter mixture.

I hope that you like all the scone baking tips and recipes that I have shared with you and here's a video showing how easy these lagi BEST buttery fluffy scones are baked! Enjoy!!!

And this is me enjoying my yummy scones... nom nom nom...

If you are looking for more delicious scone recipes, I promise that I will have lots to share in the future and so please stay tune!!! To get the latest updates of my bakes, you can follow me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids.

basic classic scones
It's a must for me to enjoy my plain scones with jam :)
basic classic scones
... but I wouldn't mind enjoying these extra fluffy buttery scones on its own :)

Here's the recipe.

Make seven 6 cm round scones
225g (1 1/2 cup) self-raising flour
75g (5 tbsp) lightly salted butter*, cold
25g (2 tbsp) caster sugar
125 ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk, plus more if required and more for brushing

*add 1/2 tsp salt into the self raising flour if you are using unsalted butter

fruit jelly or jam and whipped cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F or 200°C / 400°F fan forced.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Sift flour (plus salt if you are using unsalted butter) into a large mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, break and rub butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles pea-like crumbs. Stir in sugar and make a well in the centre.

Add buttermilk into the flour mixture and use one or two blunt round-edged knife/knives to mix with a cutting action until mixture forms a dough. Add more buttermilk teaspoonful by teaspoonful if the mixture is too dry. Using your hands, gather all crumbs to form a dough but do not knead the dough!!! It is IMPORTANT not to overwork dough.

Transfer dough onto a lightly floured non-stick surface. Use your lightly floured hand to flatten the dough into a flat round with about 2-3 cm (1 inch) thickness. Using a lightly floured 6 cm round cookie cutter, cut the dough into 7 rounds and place them on the prepared tray, about 2 cm (3/4 inches) apart. It's ok that the scones are not neatly shaped because they should not be over-worked.

Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the top of each scone with buttermilk.

Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 12 mins, or until the scones are lightly golden and cooked through. They are ready if they sound hollow when you tap them on the base. It is important NOT to under-bake scones! Serve warm or at room temperature, split and topped with cream and jelly or jam. These scones are best eaten on the day that they are made. Very very very yummy!!! :)

Happy Baking! And enjoy the scones!
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  1. yummm.... I love making scones, this one sounds delicious!

  2. Hi. I never made one but have always wanted to. Looking at the no substitution for buttermilk..hhmmm. We don't have ready made ones here. Gotta make on our own but have never tried. How do we make one as I don't think I have any choice

    1. Hi, Yo do have a choice!!! You can try baking the other scones recipe that I have mentioned in this post too. The one with cream (no buttermilk) is one of our favourites too. Cheers!

  3. warm scones and coffee and some jam to spread on them = heaven... so perfectly made it

  4. Hi Zoe, i just want to say i love your recipes, your explanations are so easy to understand and i love how you do the ratios and maths of every recipe and explain the differences and the outcome of the various ingredients. I look forward to more recipes from you, thank you once again. Cheers, Limmi

  5. nice recipe,added dates .beautiful soft scones .thanks for the recipe.