People dropping by unexpectedly? All you need is self-raising flour, milk and 30 minutes to whip up a batch of scones (see FAQ below if you only have plain flour). If you have buttermilk (thanks Pepe) they’ll be even lighter! The first time I tried to make scones, they turned out more like rock cakes, then I discovered the golden rule: handle the dough as little as possible. A light touch and a hot oven are the secrets to light fluffy scones, so I prefer this method of making one large round cut into segments, rather than shaping them into rounds then reforming the dough to use the offcuts. Buttermilk scones are one of the quickest and easiest sweet treats to make, and perfect with a cup of smoky Russian Caravan tea.
Makes 8 pieces
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No self-raising flour? No worries. Just add 1? teaspoons of baking powder to each cup of plain flour. But be sure to check the baking powder is fresh or you’ll have rock cakes instead of scones.
Yes, baking powder does lose its effect after 12 months or so. To test if it’s fresh, stir a little into hot water – if it fizzes it’s still fresh enough to use; if it doesn’t, it’s time to buy a fresh batch.
Baking soda is another name for bicarbonate of soda. Baking powder is a mixture of 1 part bicarbonate of soda and 2 parts cream of tartare.
Not exactly, cream of tartar is tartaric acid mixed with potassium hydroxide to neutralize the acid, so cream of tartare doesn’t have the acidic tang of tartaric acid.