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How to achieve the perfect Scone

Over the last five years I've had many questions about achieving the perfect bake. Now to be totally honest with you I also am susceptible to some epic fails as much as the next man/woman but my stubbornness and self criticalness makes me try and try until I have achieved something that I can be proud of. I think it stems from those old low self esteem niggles that plague me from my pre bake off days. Before I found my thing, and let's be honest it only took me 42 years!!!!!!!

Anyway I hope you don't find the title too conceited but for me these scones are as near as perfect to my palate as can be. I am positive this won't be so for everybody but one thing I do promise, if you follow my recipe exactly you will have a pretty delicious light and fluffy scone, ones that Mr Hollywood told me when I did my audition for #GBBO "I'd happily sell these from my bakery".
Lets start with our basic scone
125g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
100g strong white bread flour (The extra gluten in SBF gives a great texture to the scones)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
50g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
80ml double cream (The fat content really helps to enhance the scone, giving a lovely light finish)
60 whole milk
1 tsp of lemon juice (The acid in the lemon juice when mixed with the raising agents gives a chemical reaction causing a wonderful lift) 
1 egg yolk, beaten

You will also need a baking tray lined with baking parchment and a 5cm (2 inch) round cutter

Preheat the oven to 210ºC/410ºF/gas mark 6.

Sift the flours, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda and salt together into a bowl. 

Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You need a really fine crumb here, as soon as the liquid hits the flour you will activate the raising agent and after that the more you work the dough the tougher the scones will be. 

Gradually add the cream, lemon juice the acidity in the lemon gives a great light texture when combined with the raising agents and enough milk to bring the mixture together with a knife. 

Finish by bringing together with your hands. 

Turn out on to a Lightly floured work-surface and give the mixture a little knead for 20 seconds, any more will make tough scones, then roll out the dough to a thickness of 2-3cm. I use two wooden spoons under my rolling pin to create an even layer, see pic no3. 

Using the cutter, cut into rounds Never twist the cutter, this hinders the raising process and put them onto the prepared baking tray, Spritzed the tray with water, see pic no2 . 


Brush with the beaten egg, I beat the egg in the jug that I measure the milk and cream in, this gives an extra richness to the glaze.
Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until ready to eat.

For Fruit Scones  
80g dried fruits
25g caster sugar

Stir the fruits and sugar after the rubbing in stage and before the liquid.

For Cheese scones
100g grated Cheddar
Add 80g of cheese after the rubbing in stage and before the liquid.

Then sprinkle the remaining 20g over the egg washed scones.

For fresh berry scones
100g Blueberries or Raspberries or Blackberries
1 tbsp caster  sugar

Flash freeze your choice of berries on a parchment lined baking tray until frozen solid, then add after the rubbing in stage and before the liquid. Sprinkle with caster sugar after the egg wash.

For Sweet Scones
25g caster sugar
Add with the flours
The age old question cream or jam first ? 
I like cream first, but this is purely for aesthetic 
reasons. 
A water mist sprayed onto the baking tray helps with stopping the scones forming 
a crust, thus giving them a chance to rise properly.
Wooden spoon tracks help you roll your dough 
evenly, creating nice consistent scones.