Originally Posted by ows
I am trying to make big fruit scones. I am a reasonably experienced baker and have baked lots of sweet cakes and pastries successfully in the past. I am trying to make scones - I have made fruit scones before but mine never seem to rise very much and always end up small and crumbly. Whenever I go to a cafe or hotel and order a scone they are always massive and I can never get mine that size. I have tried many different recipes and used baking powder. I even spoke to the chef at a luxury hotel near me who gave me his fruit scone recipe and I still can't seem to be able to make them very big. Please could you give me some advice/suggestions?
I use the recipe from the Good Housekeeping cookery book (below). It never fails me but other recipes have been varying degrees of disaster.
I make them in the following quantities as I've found they aren't as successful if I double the recipe's quantities.
This is the basic mix for sweet scones. Add dried fruit, cranberries, nuts, etc as you wish - 2oz (50g) of "additives" go in with the dry ingredients before adding the yoghourt. You can make savoury scones by leaving out the sugar and adding 2-3oz of finely grated cheese and dried herbs of your choice with the dry ingredients.
8oz (250g)self-raising flour
1/2 level teasp salt
1 level teasp baking powder
2 oz (50g) butter (you can use hard marge eg Stork, if you like but butter tastes better)
1/4 pint (150ml) plain yoghourt
and a little milk or egg wash to glaze (optional)
Pre-heat a baking sheet in the oven - top shelf - 230C/450F/gas mark 8.
Sift the dry ingredients together. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (this seems to be where American recipes and ours part company). Make a well in the middle and stir in enough yoghourt to give a fairly soft dough
Turn onto a floured surface, knead very lightly if necessary to remove any cracks. roll out to about 3/4 inch thick(I make mine a bit thicker than this) or pat out with your hand. Cut into rounds using a 2 inch cutter dipped in flour or cut into triangles with a sharp knife.
Take the baking sheet out of the oven(be careful, it's hot!)brush with the milk or egg wash and bake immediately at the top of the oven for 8-10 minutes (mind they don't burn but don't keep opening the door to look!) When cooked transfer to a wire cooling tray and allow to cool before buttering and eating, ideally the same day.
I find set yoghourt is best but I don't know why and if you can't find it just use any natural yoghourt full fat or low fat as you prefer. The recipe says milk but that doesn't work for me. I expect that you could use cultured buttermilk but natural yoghourt is usually easier to find. Sour milk used to be used in the days of raw milk but pasteurised milk goes bad, not sour, and shouldn't be used
This has never let me down in over 30 years but before I found it my scones would have made very good ice hockey pucks!
Good luck (you won't need it)