Recipe #3 of kingarthurflour.com Best Basic Recipe Collection is SCONES! I will eat any scone from plain to savory to sweet (sweet will always be the favorite, of course). The secret with scone dough is to handle it as little as possible to keep those littles bits of butter nice and cold until they hit the oven. This is a basic recipe and you can choose your mix-ins and flavoring, this time I used 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and vanilla. Next time I might use raisins, pecans, and maple, oh, that sounds amazing!
2¾ cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbl baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter
1-2 cups chopped dried fruit, chocolate or other flavor chips, nuts, or combination
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla or flavoring of choice
1/2 – 2/3 cup half-and-half or milk
2 tsp milk or half-and-half
2 Tbl sparkling sugar or cinnamon-sugar, optional
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter just until mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated. Stir in the fruit, chips, and/or nuts, if you’re using them. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half-and-half or milk. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until all is moistened and holds together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat; if you don’t have either, just use pan without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan. Put dough onto floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5″ circle. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar or cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges. Carefully pull wedges away from center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges.
For best texture and highest rise, place pan of scones in freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Chilling scones relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills fat, which will make scones a bit flakier. While scones are chilling, preheat oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper third.
Bake scones in upper part of your oven for 18 to 23 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown. Remove scones from oven, and cool briefly on pan. Serve warm. They’re delicious as is, but add butter and/or jam, if you like.
When scones are completely cool, wrap them in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.