Perfect Scones for a Royal Tea Party

Royal wedding or not, everyone should be able to turn out a good scone. They are essential for any tea party, and make a mighty fine (and easy) weekend breakfast. The main difference between a scone and biscuit is richness; scones typically contain egg, and are a little sweeter and denser. This basic recipe can be customized with any number of additions – try stirring in some currants, raisins, berries (if they’re frozen, leave them that way), cinnamon or grated lemon or orange zest.

If you don’t have buttermilk, stir a large spoonful of plain yogurt into regular milk. The first time I made these I used 3/4 cup buttermilk and the results were divine, although the dough was very soft and sticky and difficult to cut. I patted it into a round and cut it into wedges – they spread a bit as they baked, and had crispy edges and bottoms with an incredibly tender crumb inside.

Classic Scones

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugarӬ
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Ӭ1/2 cup (1/4 lb) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Ӭ2/3 cup buttermilk
1 large eggӬ
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

In a large bowl, blend the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and blend until the mixture is crumbly

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Roll out the dough about 2 cm thick and cut into shapes with a cutter, glass rim or knife. Place an inch or so apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350ËšF for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Makes about a dozen scones, depending on their size.

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