A scone is a single-serving quick bread, usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal with baking powder as a leavening agent and baked on sheet pans. A scone is often lightly sweetened -- as is this recipe -- and sometimes glazed with egg wash.
The original scone was round and flat, sometimes quite large. It was made with unleavened oats and baked on a griddle, then cut into triangular sections for serving.
When baking powder became available, scones began to be the oven-baked, well-leavened items that are more popular today. Modern scones are widely available in bakeries, grocery stores and supermarkets.
Scones sold commercially are usually round, although some brands are hexagonal. When prepared at home, they may take various shapes including triangles, rounds and squares. British scones are often lightly sweetened, but may also be savory. They frequently include raisins, currants, cheese or dates.
The "griddle scone" is a variety of scone which is cooked on a griddle on the stove top rather than baked in the oven. This usage is also common in New Zealand where scones of all varieties form an important part of traditional colonial New Zealand cuisine.
Other common varieties include the dropped scone, or drop scone, like a pancake, after the method of dropping the batter onto the griddle or frying pan to cook it, and the lemonade scone, which is made with lemonade and cream instead of butter and milk. There is also the fruit scone or fruited scone, which contains currants, sultanas, peel and glacé cherries, which is just like a plain round scone with the fruit mixed into the dough.
In some countries, one may also encounter savory varieties of scone which may contain or be topped with combinations of cheese, onion, bacon, etc.
- 2 c. all purpose flour (For best results, sift or spoon the flour into the measuring cup.)
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter
- 1 whisked egg
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 - 1/2 c. milk, buttermilk or half-and-half
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt).
- Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter. The mixture is done when it resembles coarse cornmeal.
- Add the whisked egg and vanilla extract. Do not stir yet.
- With minimal stirring, mix in just enough milk, buttermilk or half-and-half to make the dough stick together. It will be crumbly and there should still be a little bit of dry flour left in the mixing bowl.
- Turn the dough out on a heavily floured cutting board.
- Knead the dough slightly. When it is done, it should be easy to handle and smooth.
- Gently pat the dough to two 1–inch thick discs.
- Cut each disc into 6 pieces.
- Transfer the scones to a buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. (Optional: Turn pan halfway through baking.)
- Cool on the baking sheet.