Discussing with a barista how to make sure scones don't turn out dry, any thoughts?
This is REALLY a question for Mrs Larkin but I am pretty sure it's all about the butter ... the scones pictured above are amazing - give them a look!!!
I think keeping the butter cold, so it stays in pieces in the dough, is essential. Not only for flaky/crumbly texture, but I suspect for moisture balance in the final product.
Moist, sticky dough and a hot oven. Don't over bake.
Oh, one more thing..pat them out to about 1 inch thick prior to cutting. The thinner ones cook faster and dry out more easily.
Also, don't overwork the dough. Mix at low speed, and stop mixing when you still see streaks of flour. I finish mixing by hand.
Yes, don't overwork the dough- just deal with it if it's sticky- its tempting to add extra flour but that will make them drier. And as mentioned already- don't overbake and make sure the oven is preheated & hot. A nice golden brown on the bottoms and little carmelization of the sugar on top, yum!
I have made thousands of scones, and what I find is that recipes without egg have a nice crumb for longer. The best recipes for scones without egg that I've found are in the Cheese Board Collective cookbook--which is a must-have for a scone- or muffin-baker anyway! Scones with egg tend to attract moisture and get quite stale quickly. Blech! The good news is the scones I've made from the Cheese Board Collective cookbook have not often stayed around long enough to really, truly find out if they get stale!
I'm late to the scone party!
For a moist and tender scone, use butter and cream. I always use an egg - it adds moisture and the scones will not dry out as quickly if stored in an airtight container.
And, yes! Don't overwork the dough!
Get an oven thermometer to make sure you are baking at the right temp. I always bake scones at 425 F.
Some good scone tips here: http://www.kingarthurflour...
And instructional pictures here: http://www.kingarthurflour...
If you've got the Cooking Illustrated cookbook, it's got a bunch of great scone info there, too. (page 57)