Sunday, January 17, 2016

My search for the perfect British Scone - Strawberry Shortcake

My BFFs brought me to a local Tea House for my birthday, and ever since then I have been searching for the perfect British scone recipe.  British scones are different from their American cousins.  American scones have all the sweetness and fruit baked into the scone, whereas the British scone is pure biscuit and the sweetness and decadence comes from the jam and cream slathered on top.

For me the perfect British scone is light and airy, tall as possible, and just slightly sweet.  The best British scone I ever tasted came from a little tea shop in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Stupid me didn't ask for the recipe, and I've been on a fruitless search for it ever since.  Woe is me.

I've tried several American recipes without being able to duplicate my New Zealand dream, so now I'm going back to the source and trying some English and Scottish recipes.  First up is Suzy Bowler's scone recipe from her book: The Secret Life of SCONES.

The end result was pretty tasty, but too flat to qualify as my "ideal" scone.  But it did make an excellent biscuit for Strawberry Shortcake.

The recipe is pretty standard: self-rising flour, butter, sugar, and milk.  The directions are standard too...

Cold butter rubbed into the flour...

Then add the milk.  But for some reason the volume of milk specified in the recipe didn't seem right to me.  After I added the 100ml of milk, the mix just look way too dry and crumbly.

I ended up adding another 4 tablespoons of milk to get the dough to hold together.

Next up patting the dough into a circle (I don't bother with a rolling pin), and cutting out the circles.  The cutter I use is from Cake Boss and I really like these things.  They are tall enough, strong enough and sharp enough to use on biscuits, sugar cookies or fondant.

All ready for the oven.  I use a baking stone so the bottoms don't burn, and I don't re-roll the excess dough.  I just twirl it into a snake and place it on the stone.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  And out they come all golden brown.  But sadly just a little flat.  I'm really not sure why that happened.  I purchased new self-rising flour just for this recipe, and even added a teaspoon extra baking power just to give it a little more oomph.   But no luck.  They look like flat little hockey pucks. 

But like I said they made excellent biscuits for Strawberry Shortcake, and everyone had seconds so all 8 scones were gone in a flash.

So I'm still searching for that perfect high-rise scone, that will bring back happy memories from my wild and miss-spent youth.  Sniff.

Happy Baking,


Note:  I don't like to include another person's recipe unless the creator of the recipe has already posted it free of charge somewhere on the web.  I couldn't find Suzy Bowler scone recipe anywhere except in her published book so I didn't post it here.   BUT ... if you preview the book on Amazon the recipe is part of the preview.

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