This is my perfect scone recipe, I like them rough instead of soft, with a crumbly outside and a soft inside. Just like I remember my first scone and the scones I enjoy most at my favourite tea-room. I believe a scone shouldn't be too sweet, that way you can generously spread it with cream and jam without feeling too guilty or going into a sugar coma after 1 scone.
The secret to the best risen scone is not to overwork the dough and not to turn the cutter while cutting out your scones.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7
Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Put the flour into a bowl and add the butter and rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
Add the egg and gradually add the milk stirring it in until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough.
Turn the dough out on to a generously floured working surface and gently knead it for a minute until it ceases to be sticky but still soft.
Now flatten it to a thickness of 2cm. It is better to do this with your hands as opposed to a rolling pin, this will help the scones rise better.
Use a 5cm (or use a larger one for larger scones) cookie cutter to stamp out the scones by pushing it straight down into the dough without turning it, then lift it straight out. This will provide a better and more even rise as well.
Push the leftover dough together and knead lightly, add currants if you like and flatten again and cut out more scones.
Arrange the scones on your prepared baking tray and brush the tops with beaten egg.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the middle of your oven until risen and golden. When ready transfer to a wire rack to cool. When cooled, cover them with a tea towel to keep them nice and moist.
Regula Ysewijn is a food & lifestyle photographer and divides her time between Belgium and England. She collects vintage English kitchenalia and old and tatty cookery books. Her first book about British food culture 'Pride and Pudding' is out in Dutch october 2015 and will be available in UK,NZ,AUS april 2016