Simple, quick, satisfying – and infinitely variable. One little touch lifts them to light, fluffy, and sublime.


  • 8oz/225g flour (white, brown, wholemeal, or a mixture – your call); either
    • plain flour, with 4 level tsps baking powder
    • self-raising flour, with 2 level tsps baking powder
    • but see below on milk
    • and feel free to replace up to a third of the flour with porage oats or oatmeal?
  • 2oz/50g butter, or other fat
  • good pinch of salt
  • [For sweet scones – 1oz/25g sugar]
  • milk to mix (see below)


  • Preheat oven to 230C/475F/Gas Mark 8.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, and raising agents; rub in the fat, until your mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar (and/or other flavourings – see below for ideas).
  • Add “enough” milk, and cut in with a knife; you want a soft rolling consistency. Don’t overwork the dough (or it becomes tough).
    • Magic touch – “sour” the milk first with a wee squeeze of lemon juice, or use buttermilk or watered-down yoghurt; this will supercharge your raising agents. Only add HALF the quantities of baking powder above.
  • Roll out, and cut into required shapes (rounds or squares); or form into rounds on baking sheet, and “draft” cut each into eight triangles.
  • Pop into the oven for about 10 minutes – when the scones are firm to the touch, they are ready. Cool on a wire rack.

Such a simple recipe can carry a wealth of flavours – some ideas …

  • Savoury
    • Cheese Scones – adding 2-4oz/50-100g of grated cheese (imho, the stronger the better), a bit extra salt, a good grind of black pepper, and whatever herby or spicy complement you wish. Ground mustard, paprika, chilli, thyme, rosemary, parsley ……. whatever!
    • Mediterranean – add sundried tomatoes (chopped), olives (black, pitted and halved), and cubed Feta cheese.
    • Herby – a good handful of chopped fresh parsley, or thyme, or whatever will fit what you’re serving alongside the scones.
    • Onion (and tomato) – chop an onion and fry slowly until satifyingly golden and sweet (20 minutes, at least); stir in a spoonful of tomato puree if you like, and add a herb or two. Allow to cool.
  • Sweet
    • Treacle – add 1-2 tablespoons black treacle to the flour mix before you add the milk; omit the sugar.
    • Sultana – add a goodly handful of sultanas (or any other dried fruit) to the flour mix, before you add the milk.
    • Citrus flavours – add the zest of a lemon or orange to the flour mix; or replace the sugar with a spoonful of good marmalade.
    • Spicy – add your choice of spices to the flour mix; ground ginger (with chopped crystallised ginger?), ground mixed spices, cinnamon …
    • Date – add 2-3oz finely chopped moist dates. Or 2oz chopped dates and 1oz chopped walnuts?

You get the idea – my granny’s simple scone ain’t quite so simple after all!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s