Scones for the perfect Afternoon Tea

Is there anything more British than afternoon tea?! Vintage crockery, old-school teapots and a three-tier cakestand full of goodies – from finger sandwiches to cakes, pastries and of course the legendary scones! I love scones. Biting into these buttery goodies is one of the niceties of living on this island.

As a passionate hobby baker arriving in the UK, I obviously had my go at making scones. It ended in a total disaster. The normally fluffy teacakes turned out like little rock-solid stones! Unbelievably embarrasing. That’s when I realized that the whole magic about scones lies not in their simple yet fulfilling taste, but in their texture. This buttery crumbly consistency is essential to a proper scone.

So after my initial failure at making scones I didn’t really feel like messing up another batch. No competitive spirit, no proving myself – I’d secretly given up on ever making perfect scones. Yes, I had shrugged it off as one of those things – alongside with über-perfect macarons and proper sourdough bread – that I just wouldn’t ever master. Fine. No problem. No one’s gonna find out anyway.

But then… I got this commission for writing an article on afternoon tea. Alongside explaining the concept and listing some nice places in London, I also had to include a recipe for – scones! I felt hot and cold flushes rushing through my body. Damn, just when you think you’ve managed to conceal something it catches you in bright daylight.

So, the recipe testing began.

Now let me tell you, it really isn’t as hard as I thought! In fact, all you need to watch is your kneading! Knead the dough like a bread or pizza dough and you’re doomed! Gently mix it and knead the dough very briefly for a few seconds and you’re onto a winner!

So, trust me and leave those frustration work-outs for another dough that requires some tough love. These scones are all about gentleness and care. ★

November 10, 2010