Is there anything nicer than a sit down with a scone and a nice cup of tea? The perfect bake to take to friends, enjoy on a summer's afternoon or have handy for elevenses. Scones are also one of the best things you can make with smalls. Quick, easy and fast to bake and cool. Here's my basic recipe. It's seen me through many years, village fetes and afternoon teas. It's brilliantly adaptable. You can size the bake up and add whatever flavours you can think of at the same time as you add the sugar.
I like to make mini scones with the smalls using a 5cm fluted cutter - it's the perfect size for little hands to hold and makes scones perfectly sized for snacking and picnic boxes. This recipe makes about 12 of these, but if you want normal size scones I'd double the recipe and it will probably make about 8.
As for equipment, I can't recommend a set of these highly enough. They get so much use in our house. You can use the straight or fluted edge to make biscuits, scones and cake toppers. We also use them for colour sorting and play dough!
I speed this bake up for super smalls by mixing the butter & flour together in advance. Rubbing these together with fingertips can be really tricky for toddlers, but if you have older ones then this is the absolute best bit. I also make it quicker for myself by using spreadable butter. This is the only time I use this, but it works like magic and the prep then only takes minutes. You can even do it the night before and stick the bowl in the fridge until you're ready to go and the kids are in the mood. Yes, you can put flour in the fridge. You can even freeze it. The stuff is indestructible! If you want a lengthier activity though, you can also make your own speedy jam with chia seeds and whip up some cream to serve. Why not host a summer playdate and host a little afternoon tea for the parents at the end? Baking with a real purpose is always the most successful in our house.
40g salted spreadable butter
225g self raising flour
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 220° - scones like it HOT.
1. Rub the butter and flour together with your fingertips until you have a sand-like consistency. This won't take very long thanks to using the spreadable butter.
2. Stir in the sugar (this is where you can add any additional flavourings or fruit you want to use too).
3. Use a knife to mix into a dough. It will be very soft, but you don't want it too sticky. Usually these quantities work perfectly, but if you do struggle to bring it together add a tiny bit more milk. Conversely you can sprinkle a little more flour if needs be.
4. Tip the dough onto a floured surface ( I like to use my silicone mat for this as it's so easy to clean up afterwards) and pat and shape the dough until it is a road of about 3cm thick. Patting is much more fun for little ones than the rolling pin and also easier for scones so that you don't flatten them too thin. You want a nice plump dough if you're going to get a nice rise. Cut out scones and pop them on a baking tray. Repeat until there is no dough left.
5. Sprinkle some flour over the top of the scones and then bake on the middle shelf of your oven for about 10minutes. (Nearer to 15 for normal size scones). Take out and cool on a wire rack.
Additional flavour ideas.
2 tsp dried or fresh lavender
75g dried fruit of your choice - I love apricots cut into little chunks.
2tbsp chopped stem ginger (I like to add lemon zest too)
Leave out the sugar and add 25g grated cheddar cheese
50g chopped dates and 70g chopped walnuts
'Magic' chia seed jam
Heat 2 cups of fruit in a pan until it starts to soften and break down. Mix with 2 tablespoons of honey and the juice of one lemon. Add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, stir and leave for 5 minutes. It will then be ready to use or you can store it in the fridge fro up to two weeks. It doesn't set solid like shop-bought jam, but it tastes jolly nice and ha only natural sweetness.
This is brilliant for using up fruit that's 'on the turn' in the fridge.