Scone recipe

24 January 2009

This is my recipe for scones. I have to warn you, I never measure anything so if these aren't quite to your liking, tweak the measurements a bit to get exactly what you like. I encourage you to do that with all your recipes. A recipe is a starting point, not an end point.

4 cups self raising flour OR 4 cups of plain (all purpose) flour with 6 teaspoons of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
100 grams (4 oz) room temp butter
enough buttermilk or milk to make a dough

All flours are different and flour will take more liquid on a dry day than on a humid or rainy day, so add a cup of milk to start, then add it in small amounts until you have a dough you're happy with.

Sift the flour (and baking powder if you're using it), salt and sugar into a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it's crumbly like breadcrumbs. Add the milk and mix.

The one thing that will mean success or failure is the way you mix your scones. Over-mixing (and over-kneading) will kill them. You need what used to be called "a light hand" when making scones. That means that when you add the milk, you mix - I use a butter knife to mix - only until the flour and milk are just combined. Then stop.

METHOD (continued)
Take the mixed dough from the bowl and place it onto a clean floured bench. Knead the dough very gently, maybe only four or five times, until the dough is smooth. Over-kneading will ruin the scones. When the outside of the dough ball is floured and smooth, pat it down with you hand to about 4 or 5 cm ( 1½ - 2 inches) in height. Cut with a wine glass and place the scones , almost touching, on a baking sheet. Place in a pre-heated hot oven to cook until golden.

Another factor that helps scones rise is oven temperature. Baked goods have two kinds of lift - the lift they get from the raising agent you use (baking powder, yeast, bicarb etc) and also "oven lift" which comes from the hot temperature when the dough first goes into the oven. What you are aiming for is a hot oven for the first five minutes, then turn it down. So, set your oven to it's highest - mine is 250C (480F) - while you're mixing your scones. Put the scones into the high heat oven for five minutes, then turn it down to about 200C (390F) and cook until the scones are golden on top - about 15 - 20 minutes.

Just a note about the strawberry jam recipe. If you like a firm jam, add pectin to the recipe when you add the sugar. Also, in the US, make sure you use 100% pure cane sugar, not beet sugar in your jam. You need cane sugar to help jam set properly.

Happy baking everyone! Let me know how you went with your scones if you bake some.

Welcome to all the new readers who have joined us over the past week or two. I hope you enjoy reading here. Thanks to everyone who left comments, it's wonderful getting feedback, but more than that, I really love interacting with all of you and knowing that Hanno and I are not alone in our quest for a simple life.


  1. This sounds so yummy. I really think I can make this recipe. Your instructions are very clear.
    Thanks for sharing and take care.

  2. Thanks for the recipe It seems easy. I wonder if there is anywhere, in CA that sells clotted cream. I am nowhere near being a good cook, so I dont dare try making it.

    I am off to google, clotted cream.

  3. Hay Lady, I sent my Mr. to get some bread flour and some self rising. Using just the freshly ground whole wheat is too heavy.
    I look forward to the scones this weekend. I just love that wine glass idea.
    Berrie plants went on the market today. They were 4" pot $3.50 each. Tell us about berrie growing. If your a mind to. Enjoy your day.
    Tell Hanno Gods speed, peace.

  4. Rhonda and Hanno

    I'm so encouraged to find people whose desire and outlook in life are similar to my own. My prayer is that others will find out that living simply is intensely satisfying.

    My name is Cathy and I'm married to David and have two sons Luke (14) and Nick (12). I have been home for 15 years now and enjoy my life. During those 15 years I have always done volunteer work for our church and the community, studied as well as working part-time for 12 months then gave it up as it was too much pressure on us all.

    I'm 42 and out of all my friends I am the only one who doesn't work. It seems that when your kids become teenages everyone expects you to return to the workforce. Most people comments are - I cannot afford not to work or what do you do, you must be bored. I would love to tell them my story and how that can have a wonderful life living on one income, but I find most people don't won't to know and they are to busy...

    We live in Brisbane suburbs and I love pottering around the house. I'm not much of a shopper, but love second hand shopping. 90% of all our stuff is second hand or hand me downs and it looks beautiful. I bake and cook from scratch and garden. I sew bits and pieces and like doing crafts, funny I give most them away as gifts, not keeping much for myself.

    Thanks Rhonda and Hanno for sharing your life, I have learnt so much from you both over the last month reading all your material. I love to learn about homemaking but, unfortunately it seems to be forgotten by many.

    I've just started reading blogs over the last 3 months so I'm new to this, but just wanted to leave a comment.


  5. Thank you for the recipe. These will definitely be on our table this weekend. Donna J.

  6. Would the scones turn out well using freshly ground whole-wheat flour?



  7. James, if you read Donetta's comment you'll see she found freshly ground wholewheat flour too heavy. What you could try is to ground your flour as normal, but then sift out some of the bran to get a lighter flour. If you wanted to include the bran, you could moisten the top of the scones and sprinkle it over the top before baking. A safer alternative is to do what Donetta is doing, adding some white flour to lighten the dough.

    Suzen, if you can't get clotted cream, try for a good quality Jersey or Guernsey cow cream. It's thick and luscious.

    Hello Cathy, welcome. Cripes, you read through the whole thing?! You deserve a medal. Yes, living this way is very satisfying, isn't it. I'm please you enjoyed the blog, I hope you keep reading.

  8. Rhonda, I need your help please! I was inspired by one of your recent blogs about handknitted dish cloths and went out to buy the Lion Cotton Yarn with big plans to make dishcloths for one and all. However, Spotlight no longer sells Lion Cotton Yarn and the Lion website is not responding to my emails re other Australian stockists. It also looks like they don't do overseas mail orders. Can you please recommend a substitute cotton? (The girl at Spotlight said the Lion one was particularly soft and absorbent and didn't know what else to recommend).
    Thanks for your blog Rhonda, i really enjoy reading it. Tully (Melbourne)

  9. Rhonda
    I have been googling and it looks like Whole Foods might sell some. I will have to drop by, maybe next week when I am out.

    If not there, than there is site in the UK, that ships to the US.

  10. Hi Tully (are you Nelly?) You can use any sort of pure cotton yarn, I've even used crochet cotton. It makes up a very light an absorbent dishcloth with it's fine ply. Here are buys of ebay - some are very good prices.

    I bought 12 large skeins of Lions cotton at Spotlight when it was been reduced from $11.99 to $3.99. I still have a lot from that but when I've used it all, I'll buy from ebay. You could also look at the soy, linen and bamboo yarns. They're all natural products and absorbent. Just be wary of the price.

    Suzen, tell me you're joking about having cream sent from the UK. You know you can whip pure cream to have on your devonshire tea?

  11. I am so happy that I stumbled on your blog. I was just looking for a cold pressed soap recipe and found a whole other way of line, I already got permission from my husband to start on our journey!

  12. Thanks for recipe.

    Ihave nominated you for a Premio ime Dardos award. if you have the time please read my blog for details.

    kind regards

    Michelle :)

  13. Thank you very, very much! I think these are going to be on our table this weekend as well. :-)

    There's one thing I'm wondering about the jam... you say use pure cane sugar, no beet. All we get here in the Czech Republic is beet. (Unless we pay more for our special treatment, and it's not so widely available - my sister does it for her regular sugar for tea and such, because she noticed the beet one doesn't agree with her so much.) In fact, the Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia) used to be one of the biggest manufacturers of beet sugar - it's not anymore, but it's still what you usually get.
    Well, what I'm aiming at is, that generations of preservers in this country have always been using beet sugar, and I believe there are no problems with it.

  14. Hello Rhonda - I think scones were one of the first things I was taught to cook. Thankj you for your scone making tips - am sure will help with mine.

    Inspired by you I'm moving to green cleaning. Here is a tip I would like to share with your readers: the wonderful mix of baking soda and salt is great for getting baked on "gunk" off a ceramic cooktop. I used a dampened cloth, the salt and baking soda and gentle persistance. No damage to cooktop! The "offical ceramic top" cleaners never achieved such good results.

    I hope the rest of your weekend is kind to you, Michelle in Wellington.

  15. Scones are a favourite of mine but never been very successful at baking them so will give your recipe a try and let you know how I get on. Mmmm scones, jams and clotted cream ....Whole Foods here I come :)

  16. I am really enjoying your blog and have linked to you.

  17. Awwwww, you're the best! Thanks! -Sandy

  18. Hana, beet sugar is fine for preserving but it doesn't help with the setting of jam like cane sugar does. If you use beet sugar, you'll have to use pectin as well.
    And that is fine, pectin is a natural product. You may even make your own pectin if you have crab apples there. Good luck with your jams.

    Mickle, thanks for sharing your ceramic cleaner recipe with us.

    Credit Cruncher, thanks for linking and reading.

  19. I baked some just the other day... But we call them biscuits!

    I use half white, half whole-wheat flour, and they come out just right.

    I enjoy your wonderful blog!

  20. Thank you for clearing it up for me, Rhonda! I believe that's what many people do - adding apples.
    I'm looking forward to the next kitchen table discussion. There won't be much I can add myself, especially because it's not canning season here, but I'm sure there'll be a lot to learn for me!

    I made the sponge cake again, instead of the scones, but I think I'll try them tomorrow... I'm free to do it now, I passed all my exams and have lots of free time on my hands! I'm absolutely happy right now, so I need to tell everyone...

  21. these look utterly sensational! I might have a go at them today and do a batch for my family. Nothing like scones for a Sunday afternoon tea!

    Thanks for posting your recipe.

  22. Rhonda your scone recipe is almost identical to the recipe my Gran taught me when I was a wee Lass. But I always remember her telling me you needed to have cool hands to bake scones. So even in this hot Queensland kitchen my scones are always a success. Thanks for bringing back such delightful childhood memories.

  23. Just wanted to let you know I made the biscuits (yeah, I'm from the states) this morning and they turned out pretty darn good! Thanks for the recipe and inspiring me to try something new.

  24. Thanks for your help re the Lion Cotton, Rhonda - much appreciated. I'm strangely quite excited about making my own dishcloths! Also, no, I'm not Nelly. I'm new to blogs and my comment above is the first time I have ever commented on any blog - I feel rather chuffed that it worked and you replied! Thank you. Tully

  25. Thanks Rhonda Jean. Lovely scones - we had them for tea yesterday with butter and jam (no cream unfortunately).

    I'm going to try them with added dried fruit - will make a great snack for my 4 year old.

    Thanks again!

  26. The "GIVE MORE, EXPECT LESS" sampler on your side bar - - is that your own design? I would love to stitch it.

  27. I was inspired by your scone post to make some wholewheat cheese scones to have with soup for lunch today - I haven't made them for years. I'd forgotten how delicious they are! Of course, I also love plain scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream - just thought the cheese ones would go better with soup!

  28. Hi everyone! It's great to hear about the scone making going on out there.

    Peach pod, yes, that is my design. The free pattern is in my stitcheries section. Please use it.

  29. Can you use wheat flour? Also, do you know what I can add when I use wheat and I need to "add more gluten" so it will rise better? My wheat bread isn't rising well.

  30. My first batch of your scones are in the oven right now - they smell and look wonderful. I am eagerly awaiting a cup of tea and a warm scone with honey! Thank you again for your wonderful blog... I can't get enough.
    P.S. I made my first batch of soap yesterday. It is cut and on the curing rack. It too smells wonderful and I wish I could use it right away. Blessings to you!



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