This evening I will tune in on BBC1 at 21.00 for the final of the Great British Bake Off! I'm really sorry this season is finished already, feels like I just started to have a new favourite on television. Anyway, we can still bake all the goodies the contestants have baked in the last couple of weeks. Paul Hollywood's scones are really one of my favorites! You can bake this scones anytime you like, the ingredients will most likely be in your cupboard anyway. And despite the very long preparation discriptions from Paul they're not so hard als you should think after reading, more reading, and even móre reading... Last year I ate homebaked scones in Scotland in Mallaig and o my - I really can't describe the wonderful feeling I had when I ate those lovely little breads. So I would very much encourage you to get baking and to get that same feeling I always have when I'm eating them: close your eyes and think of Scotland (or any other brilliant holiday you yourself had somewhere in the United Kingdom. And for readers who really pay attention: yes, these photographs are made in April, because no, there aren't any carnations this time of year.
The classic British scone is a flat, lightly sweetened 'breadcake' the size of a large plate and cut into triangle pieces. When baking powder became available for the masses, the scone got a round form and became a high risen little cake. Beside the classic sweet scone there's a whole range of savoury ones. But are we eating 'scons' or 'scones'? This subtleness depends on where you're coming from. If you're a member of the Northern English working class, you eat 'scons'. Are you a member of the Southern well-to-do middle class, you eat 'scones'. Just to make sure they made a little poem:
I asked the maid in dulcet tone
to order me a buttered scone;
The silly girl has been and gone
and ordered me a buttered scone.
Paul Hollywood's Scones form The Great British Bake Off
500 gr strong white flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
80 gr softened butter, plus a little extra to grease the baking tray
80 gr caster sugar
5 tsp baking powder
250 ml milk
1 egg, beaten with a little salt (for glazing)
good-quality strawberry or raspberry jam (I used homemade plum jam: delicious!)
1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Lightly grease a baking tray with butter and line it with baking or silicone paper (not greaseproof).
2. Put 450g/15½oz of the flour into a large bowl and add the butter. Rub the flour and butter together with your fingers to create a breadcrumb-like mixture. Add the sugar, eggs and baking powder and use a wooden spoon to turn the mixture gently. Make sure you mix all the way down to the bottom and incorporate all of the ingredients. Now add half of the milk and keep turning the mixture gently with the spoon to combine. Then add the remaining milk a little at a time and bring everything together to form a very soft, wet dough. (You may not need to add all of the milk.)
3. Sprinkle most of the remaining flour onto a clean work surface. Tip the soft dough out onto the work surface and sprinkle the rest of the flour on top. The mixture will be wet and sticky. Use your hands to fold the dough in half, then turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. By folding and turning the mixture in this way (called 'chaffing'), you incorporate the last of the flour and add air. Do this a few times until you’ve formed a smooth dough. If the mixture becomes too sticky use some extra flour to coat the mixture or your hands to make it more manageable. Be careful not to overwork your dough.
4. Next roll the dough out: sprinkle flour onto the work surface and the top of the dough, then use the rolling pin to roll up from the middle and then down from the middle. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and continue to roll until it’s about 2.5cm/1in thick. ‘Relax’ the dough slightly by lifting the edges and allowing the dough to drop back onto the work surface.
5. Using a pastry cutter, stamp out rounds from the pastry and place them onto the baking tray. Dip the edge of the pastry cutter in flour to make it easier to cut out the scones without them sticking. Don’t twist the cutter – just press firmly, then lift it up and push the dough out. Once you’ve cut 4 or 5 rounds you can re-work and re-roll the dough to make it easier to cut out the remaining rounds. Any leftover dough can be worked and rolled again, but the resulting scones won’t be as fluffy.
6. Place the scones on the baking tray and leave them to rest for a few minutes to let the baking powder work. Then use a pastry brush (or your finger if you don’t have a brush) to glaze them with the beaten egg and salt mixture. Be careful to keep the glaze on the top of the scones. (If it runs down the sides it will stop them rising evenly.) Bake the scones in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the scones are risen and golden.
Enjoy with clotted cream, fresh jam while watching The Great British Bake Off!