Once you've cut out your scone shapes, flip them over and place upside down on the baking tray. This will help them rise evenly and counteract any 'squashing' that happened when you cut out the dough. Perfect scones should rise to about 2 inches high.
Much like cinnamon rolls, arranging your scones side by side, just touching one another, helps in making the scones rise evenly, and higher. Since the heat causes the scones to rise, if they are placed side by side, the scones will be forced to rise upwards, not outwards.
Placing a dough in a cool oven that then slowly heats up actually affects the rising agent. Make sure your oven is at the right temperature you will be baking the scones at before you put them in. Also having an oven that is too hot or too cold will affect the baking of your scones immensely.
Perfect scones should rise to about 2 inches high. As long as they're fluffy and not deflating, they can be as high as you'd like them to be.
Bake the scones at 200 C/180 C fan for 12 - 13 minutes or until they have risen and are golden brown.
Bake scones in a 425°F oven for 18 to 23 minutes, until they're a very light golden brown. Don't over-bake; dark scones will be dry. Break one open to check for doneness: the interior shouldn't appear doughy or wet, but should feel nicely moist.
Scones and biscuits both need a hot, quick bake. The high, quick heat is needed to turn that butter into nice steamy air pockets without leaving pools of butter on the cookie sheet.
Air bubbles create lightness. A final crucial ingredient in scones is some sort of leavening agent such as baking powder or baking soda. In the oven, these leavening agents will react and form carbon dioxide, a gas. This puffs up your scone – it's why it increases in height in the oven!
The secret to the flakiest scones is to start with cold ingredients — cold butter, cold eggs, and cold cream. Similar to making pie crust, using cold ingredients prevents the butter from melting before the scones are baked, leaving it instead to melt in the oven and create a super-flaky end result.
The explanation is simple: As with other doughs, including pizza dough, resting lets scone dough's gluten relax completely, so that it doesn't snap back during shaping or baking.
First and foremost, brilliant scones are about having the confidence to do as little as possible. The less you knead the mix, the less the gluten will tighten up – which means your scones will stay loose and crumbly, rather than tight and springy. Make sure you sieve the flour and baking powder into your bowl.
Overworking the dough: when you overwork your dough, your scones can come out tough and chewy, rather than that desired light, crumbly texture. The trick is to use light pressure and only the work the dough until it just comes together.
I found that using eggs makes scones less flaky and less melt-in-your-mouth. They're delicious by themselves, or even better with honey butter, jam or whipped cream. It's the perfect base for lots of different flavor variations such as my lemon poppy seed scones, chocolate scones, raspberry scones, and more!
The texture of scone dough should be quite wet and sticky as this loose texture really helps to produce the lightest, fluffiest texture once baked. The drier your dough is, the less ability the dough has to rise in the oven and the denser your scones will be.
Don't forget to sift!
Be sure to double or even triple sift your flour, as it takes away the clumps in the flour allowing for more air pockets in the scone dough - the result being a fluffier and more crumbly scone.
The thickness of your scone dough is all important. Shape a small rectangle at least 2.5 cm thick with your hands. No need to use a rolling pin. Don't press it down hard!
Traditionally scones with added fruit are served with butter only; plain scones with butter and jam or cream and jam.
A mixture of bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar, or baking powder (which is a ready paired mixture of the two) are used as the raising agent in scones.
Brush tops of scones with additional milk (or eggwash). Bake in 400 degree F (240 degree C) oven for 10 - 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Check for proper golden brown color on the bottom of a center scone on the baking sheet.
Flat scones that spread when baked are usually caused by the dough being too soft or an oven that's too hot. A dark color can be caused by too much sugar or an oven that runs hot. Heavy, dense scones can be caused by weak flour, overworked dough, or expired leveling agents.
“Make sure your butter or fat is as cold as possible when you add it into the flour. Cool temperatures help to slow down the gluten's development, helping you achieve a delicious flaky texture," advises Vanessa. "Cut the cold fat into cubes and work it into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture turns sandy.
Bicarbonate of Soda: Used in place of baking powder it works with the acidity of the buttermilk to give the scones a unique crisp flavour.
Heavy Cream or Buttermilk: For the best tasting pastries, stick with a thick liquid such as heavy cream or buttermilk. I usually use heavy cream, but if you want a slightly tangy flavor, use buttermilk.
Bake the scones on the top shelf of the oven for an instant blast of heat. Bake for 10 to12 minutes or until scones are golden and have risen.
An easy way to incorporate the butter into the scone batter is by shredding it on a cheese grater. The other important piece is making sure not to overcook. If you overcook them, the moisture evaporates and cooks into the dry ingredients causing them to be dry.