After a long baking-break due to traveling (leisure, then work, then leisure again), this week I finally managed to spend some quality time in the kitchen. Having just returned from a great long weekend in UK, I wanted to make something that could still remind me of the lovely time spent there.
June is by far my favourite month of the year and provided that the weather doesn’t let you down, Britain is especially amazing in this period, so I tried to think of what could be the best baked item to represent what is the British early summer for me. I thought of a green blooming garden, relaxing in the sun, chatting with friends and looking at the world passing by; and immediately I associated this to an afternoon tea (early grey possibly) with a scone, clotted cream and jam. Personally, heaven on heart. And from last weekend I even managed to “smuggle” into Finland about 1.5kg of clotted cream (!) so it had to be scones :). I chose Paul Hollywood recipe and I have to say, he didn’t let me down once yet. The result was airy soft and buttery scones, that go absolutely perfectly with clotted cream and orange marmalade (sorry, this is shop bought).
Yes, orange marmalade, purists of the cream tea will be horrified to see that my scones do not go with raspberry o strawberry jam, but many of you have already probably understood that there’s no space for berry neither in my kitchen nor in this blog, SORRY! Of course if you try to make it on your own I believe you should choose whatever jam is a big hit with you, I wouldn’t even dare to criticise personal tastes. But I suggest you to try orange or any other citrus marmalade, or even lemon curd. In my opinion, the sharp hint of bitterness from the citrus fruits goes so well with the sweet creaminess of the clotted cream.
What more I can say? I really hope some of you will try this recipe because it is so easy and sooooo yummy :). Have you all a good week!
500g strong white flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
80g softened butter, plus a little extra to grease the baking tray
80g caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
5 tsp baking powder
1 free-range egg, beaten with a little salt (for glazing)
Jam, marmalade or curd of your choice
Preheat the oven to 200/220C. Line a baking tray with baking or silicone paper. Put 450g 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).
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.
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. 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 several 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. Place the scones on the baking tray then brush the egg glaze on top of them 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-brown. Leave the scones to cool, then split in half and add jam and clotted cream to serve.