Scones, heavenly scones

I’ve always stuggled to bake a good scone.  My batch always comes out too hard or uncooked or too flat…

Then I came across a range of scone recipes in a book called “The Ultimate Book of Baking” by Heilie Pienaar, and when I had to bake some post-birthday-party breakfast scones for a few hungry and hung-over thirty-somethings I knew just where to turn for help.

The basic recipe (without my changes)

Heilie’s Butter Scones

  • 500 ml cake flour
  • 2 ml salt
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) baking powder
  • 45 ml (4 tbsp) castor sugar
  • 80 g butter
  • 1 XL egg
  • 100 ml milk
  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Add the sugar and mix well.
  2. Rub the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Whisk the egg and milk together; then – working as quickly as you can – cut into the dry ingredients with a knife.
  4. Press to a thickness of about 2 cm and cut out with a cookie cutter.
  5. Bake on a greased baking tray in a preheated oven at 200 °C for 12 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Turn out onto wire cooling racks.

My Changes

  1. I added a cup of grated cheese (approximately 100 g) to the dry ingredients.
  2. I also made a slightly wetter dough with about 175 ml milk (instead of the given 100 ml).
  3. Instead of using a cookie cutter, I baked the scones in a muffin tray.
  4. And instead of glazing the tops, I melted 10 ml marmite and 4 tbsp (45 ml) butter and spooned this mix over the piping hot scones when they came out of the oven.

The verdict:

Scone purists may not agree with my changes and preference to a slightly wetter and stickier dough, but the scones came out light and airy while the cheese and savoury topping provided a lovely breakfast bite with tea.