Tender, flaky, and delicious plain English Style Scones are perfect for afternoon tea, breakfast, or even as dessert. While the plain scones are delicious as they are, they are also the perfect vessel for your favorite add-ins.
Scones are currently my baking obsession. Light, tall, and flaky scones are a wonderful treat for breakfast or afternoon tea.
They are easy and simple to make, using ingredients you probably have at home anyway. I like to make multiple recipes and freeze most of them. Then, you can just bake them directly fresh out of the oven!
My recipe has the combination of crispy outside and flaky texture while still being tender and soft on the inside. This is achieved by laminating the dough, which simply means adding layers by stacking or folding the dough as you roll it out. This adds flakiness and airy touch to the scones.
Break apart a small bite-sized portion of the scone with your hands or cut it horizontally. Spread them with jam, cream, or butter, or simply eat them plain. They are so delicious!
What Are Scones?
Scones are basically quick breads or biscuit-like pastries that can be made and baked quickly because they use chemical leavening instead of yeast to make them rise. Baking powder is what is used to leaven scones and it helps the scones be very fluffy and rise tall.
Make Ahead of Time
Scones are the best when they are fresh and warm from the oven. You will want to bake them off at the last minute. If you would like to get ahead, you can make and shape the dough ahead of time and leave them in the fridge overnight. Or you can freeze them on a baking sheet, transfer the frozen unbaked scones to a ziplock bag, and bake them straight from frozen, adding a couple of minutes to the baking time.
- Use cold ingredients. Similar to making pie crust, using cold ingredients prevent the butter from melting before the scones are baked, leaving it instead to melt in the oven and create a super-flaky end result. Keep your butter, egg, and milk in the fridge until you are ready to make your scone dough.
- Keep the dough cold. Do not allow the dough to get too warm. Keep it as cold as possible until they are ready to go into the oven. This will make them rise better.
- Don’t overmix. Mix just until the flour almost disappears and you’ll be left with flaky layers and a nice, tender scone.
- Don’t twist your cutter. Make sure not to twist your cutter when pressing down as this can make the scones wonky when they bake. This ensures the walls of the scones aren’t sealed so they can rise straight up and evenly.
Flaky Scones Bonus Tip
We are stealing a lamination trick from croissant baking here by stacking and flattening the dough to create tons of flaky layers. Don’t worry, it sounds more complicated than it actually is. And if this seems like way too much work, you can just skip this step.
To laminate your dough, turn your dough out onto floured work surface. Roll the dough into 1-inch/2.5 cm thickness. Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into 2 even pieces. Stack one part over each other. Press and flatten it out again. Repeat stacking and flattening the dough 2-3 more times. Then, your dough is ready to cut with a cutter.
Try using this trick and you will be surprised with the difference!
How to Serve
English Style Scones are most commonly made either plain or with raisins and sultanas. Although they can be enjoyed with any topping, the Britz traditionally enjoy scones as part of an afternoon tea. Generally, scones are topped with cream and jam.
Go with clotted cream for the traditional British flavor or whipped cream for a cleaner taste. Have sharp, tart jam to balance out the cream’s taste.
Firstly, make sure your scones are still warm to ensure that they are still light and fluffy. Break apart the scones with your hands or if using a knife, cut the scone horizontally. Top with cream and jam.