Rich Scones from the Olden Days

My favourite baking book is a really old book. If I was cooler, I’d probably call it vintage. It originally belonged to my grandmother (who I’ve never met), who was apparently a fabulous cook. My grandfather passed the book on to my mum, who isn’t all that keen on having kitchen adventures. So, it lay dormant in a kitchen drawer for quite a  long time, until a few years ago when I picked it up, primarily out of curiosity. Such an old, small book seemed out of place between the rest of the shiny, picture-filled books that my family had collected over the years.

Home Recipes with Be-Ro Flour, 37th EditionI’ve found that this is one of the few books which reliably results in desserts that work. Remember that this is No Mean Feat for me.

In the preparatory stageBy the way, the batter tastes goodFluffy, milky, and light

You can find the recipes in this book online at Bero Flour, but I like using the old book. Maybe the fact that it’s my grandmother’s book prevents me from doing creative things, like altering recipes – I’ve heard she was pretty strict. It’s probably psychological.

Fluffy No-Fail Rich Scones

From Home Recipes with Be-Ro Flour, 37th Edition. I only changed the measurements a little, because in that edition there was some confusion between the gram-oz conversion for the flour. You can find it online here.

Makes 10 full size scones, or 25-39 mini scones.

225g / 8oz self-raising flour – I used gluten free flour, no problem
50g / 2oz margarine – I used spreadable butter, which was fine
25g / 1oz castor sugar
50g / 2oz currents, raisins, or sultanas – I used closer to 80g, but I think it doesn’t matter that much
1 medium egg, beaten with enough milk to make 150ml of liquid
A pinch of salt

Oven temperature: 220 degrees C

  1. Line a baking tray with paper.
  2. Mix the flour and salt, and rub in the margarine. Keep rubbing until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Make sure the margarine is cold, it’ll make your life easier. Cut it into little cubes before starting to rub it in to the flour with your fingers.
  3. Mix in the sugar and currants/raisins/sultanas.
  4. Beat the egg into the milk, and pour in most of it. Save a little for the tops of the scones (a couple of tablespoons is fine). Stir it in with a spoon, and when it starts to come together, use your hands to mush everything in. Keep going until the mixture comes together. It will look pretty shaggy and craggy because of the milk.
  5. Be-Ro says you should knead the dough on a floured surface at this point, and use cutters to cut out scone shapes. If you can, good for you! My dough is usually a bit wet, perhaps because of the heat. Instead, I make sure everything is well mixed in the bowl and has come together in a loose ball. Then, I use a spoon to drop scone batter onto the baking paper. I then use my fingers to shape each ball into a round, and flatten the top.
    1. For mini scones, I usually use a teaspoon sized ball. I’ve found that a lot of people are scared of scones because they aren’t familiar with how to eat them, and they aren’t that sweet. Usually people are willing to eat a mini-sized scone, after which they are hooked.
    2. For full sized scones, I’d probably use a tablespoon or two of batter. Full sized scones are nice too because you get more of the fluffy inside parts.
  6. Brush the tops with the remainder of the egg-milk mixture, and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Mini scones need about 8 minutes, depending on how thick you make them.
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