Why learn how to make scones? Well, when you buy a scone, you don’t always know what you’re going to get. That’s because scones are tricky and not every baker makes them the same way. Part of the finesse of making scones is in the process itself. (Read: it’s specific AF.)
HOW TO MAKE SCONES: MORE THAN WEIRD-SHAPED BISCUITS
Scones are the product of a muffin-on-biscuit love affair. 😍 They have the structure of a biscuit, but the softness of a muffin. If we look at the ingredient ratios for muffins and biscuits (a brilliant way to make any recipe customizable and simplify your baking) we see that scones lie somewhere between the two (and that goes for vegan scones as well):
- Basic muffin recipe: 2 parts flour, 1-part fat, 2 parts liquid, 1 egg, plus baking powder and sugar
- Basic biscuit recipe: 3 parts flour, 1-part fat, 2 parts liquid, no egg, plus baking powder
- Basic scone recipe: 3 parts flour, 1-part fat, 2 parts liquid, 1 egg, plus baking powder and sugar
Basically, scones are like a biscuit but with eggs and sugar added. These two additional ingredients take the pastry from flakey, light, and relatively plain, to a more dense, airy, and sweet-but-not-overly-so. When learning how to make scones, this is an important distinction to make.
THE PROCESS FOR HOW TO MAKE SCONES
The first thing to know about making scones is that all ingredients must be cold. The characteristic fluffy texture of scones depends on this! This includes the butter, the eggs, and even the dry ingredients. After combining the dry ingredients, stick the bowl in the fridge for 20-30 minutes for optimal chillage.
Cold butter is cut into the dry ingredients, breaking it into teeny-tiny flour-coated pieces. When I say “cut,” I mean the butter is coarsely combined with the dry ingredients, using your hands or a pastry cutter (affiliate link), which leaves cohesive chunks of butter within the mixture. These bits of butter need to stay cold until the scones hit the oven.
In the heat of the oven the cold butter melts and creates steam, and the space around the once-fully-solid butter becomes a pocket of air and steam within the dough. The dough cooks around these pockets, and the result is the fluffy, delightful, somewhat structured crumb of a scone.
If the ingredients are too warm — even room temperature — before they go into the oven, the butter softens before baking. Melted butter means no glorious pockets of steam and air. No glorious pockets means dense, dry, non-scones. Got it?
Baking scones at home is a great way to experience the pastry in all its glory; fresh from the oven, airy but dense at the same time, hints of flavor and mix-ins catered to your liking. Making them from scratch also allows you to flirt with the different variations of the scone process itself.
If you’re a biscuit person, you might make your scones more flakey and round. If you’re a muffin person, maybe you make them with powdered sugar or coat your scone in a sweet glaze. As with everything, making scones from scratch puts you in the driver’s seat of your pastry experience.
Link to article: https://fearlessfresh.com/how-to-make-scones/