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Delia's Plain scones
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40g spreadable butter
225g self-raising flour
1½ level tablespoons golden caster sugar
Pinch of salt
110ml milk, plus a little more (if needed)
A little extra flour
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7
Equipment: A baking sheet with a non-stick liner, and a 5cm plain (or fluted) cutter
Begin by rubbing the butter into the sieved flour quickly, using your fingertips,then stir in the sugar followed by a pinch of salt.
Now, using a knife, mix in the milk little by little, and when it’s all in, flour your hands and knead the mixture to a soft dough (you may find you need just a drop more milk if it feels at all dry).
Place the dough on a floured pastry board and with a rolling pin (also floured) lightly roll it out to a thickness of about 3cm. (This thickness is vital. The reason scones don’t rise enough is because they are rolled too thin.) Then take the pastry cutter and tap it sharply so that it goes straight through the dough – do not twist or the scones will turn out a strange shape!
When you have cut as many as you can, knead the remaining dough together again and repeat. Then place the scones on the baking sheet, dust each one with flour and bake near the top of the oven for 12–15 minutes.
When they’re done they will have risen and turned a golden brown.
Then transfer them to a wire rack and eat as soon as they are cool enough, spread with butter, jam and clotted cream.
This recipe was first published in August 2013.