Baking scones

There seem to be two kinds of scone: the cake-y, soft, and sweet variety, and the harder, grittier, and less-sweet variety, with a crisp golden-brown crust. I am a way bigger fan of the latter. Anyone know what distinguishing feature I should look for in recipes to produce the scones I like?

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9 Comments

mrslarkin June 15, 2011
Linzarella, for what you're in search of, try a soda bread recipe like Merrill's:

http://www.food52.com/recipes/8417_irish_brown_soda_bread

and cut it into 8 or so rounds or wedges for scones. I'd add a tablespoon of sugar to the recipe for a tiny bit of sweetness. Before baking, brush tops with cream/buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar for added crunch factor.

Good luck!
 
Joanne C. June 15, 2011
For what you're looking for you want a recipe that does not call for a lot of the butter to be mixed into the dry- you want to keep the butter in pieces so that the water in the butter turns into steam in your scone and makes it light and fluffy. Cakey results when the butter is mixed into the dough (as in making a cake). Crisp golden brown crust can be achieved by brushing egg or cream on the scone before baking.
 
ChefJune June 14, 2011
I don't understand your description of texture of scones. For me, the best scones have the texture and flakiness of a biscuit. Light, fluffy, dry, and definitely not too sweet. The recipe I use calls for butter and heavy cream, but the finished result is not cakey. Not sure what you're trying to say.
 
MotherWouldKnow June 8, 2011
The browned crust is a separate issue from the "harder, grittier" inside of the scone. I'm with Anitaelectric on how to brown the outside. You can also use cream or even plain milk - with sugar and heat at least 375 degrees. For the harder, grittier inside, use recipes with less cream/milk and fat/butter.
 
Anitalectric June 7, 2011
Can you be a little more explicit about what qualities you like in a scone? From what you've already said, I recommend brushing the tops with a generous amount of buttermilk or curdled coconut milk (mix in a tsp of vinegar) and then sprinkling with coarse sugar. That will yield a crisp, browned top. Bake in a very hot oven, at least 375 degrees or more.
 
lorigoldsby June 7, 2011
I also use half & half and I like the "thickness" it provides the batter, plus a little of it in the egg wash gives a nice crust.
 
boulangere June 7, 2011
Definitely less fat. I use both butter and cream for a very tender crumb. Try cutting down the butter and using milk or half & half, even buttermilk to get the consistency you prefer.
 
RonaMoser June 7, 2011
I would look for recipes that call for less liquids ( cream, eggs, milk) that is added to the butter and flour mix.
 
braisinfoodie June 6, 2011
I'm fairly certain the drier variety would have less sugar and fat (whether from butter or heavy cream) than the sweet, cakey variety.
 
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