I've recently been rediscovering what a great recipe scones are. (However, they don't keep very well, and are far better fresh, so when I'm on my own I usually only make a half-recipe.) The recipe below is very flexible; practically every ingredient can be substituted with something else, although some of the substitutions affect taste. I'll give the basic recipe, and then substitutions and variations. I almost always make the drop scones variant, because it's easy and I'm lazy; I also usually put in dried fruit as mentioned in the fruit scones variant. (For a really simple version of this recipe, stripped down to the bare minimum, see this post
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 to 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup milkInstructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit (approximately 215-220 degrees Celsius).
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut or rub butter or margarine into dry ingredients. Add sugar. Add milk, mixing quickly to form a soft dough.
Pat or roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2 inch to 1 inch thickness (or as desired). Either cut into 12 squares or 2-3 inch rounds.
Place scones on a baking sheet and bake towards top of a 425 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes or until risen and golden brown.Serving suggestions
Serve warm or cold, plain or with butter only, or butter and jam or honey, or with jam and a touch of unsweetened whipped cream.Substitutions
Flour: can be part or all whole wheat. (Last time I tried all whole wheat, they needed to bake a bit longer than 10 minutes.)
Baking soda and cream of tartar: can be replaced with 1 tablespoon baking powder, to make baking powder biscuits.
Butter/margarine: can be replaced with olive oil. This affects the taste and is probably best in savoury versions of the recipe than sweet ones, but in my experience it works with both.
Sugar: can be omitted, for less sweet scones - good for serving with savoury things, like soup or cheese.
Milk: can be replaced with water. I almost always do this, and I don't think it affects the taste noticeably.Other variations
Drop scones: Increase liquid to 1 cup and use spoons to drop like cookies onto a baking sheet.
Fruit scones: Add 1/3 cup (50 g. / 2 oz.) dried fruit before adding milk/water.
Herb scones: Omit sugar. Use olive oil instead of butter/margarine. Add some dried herbs before adding liquid. (I think I've used about 1/2 teaspoon each of oregano and thyme, but I'm not certain of quantities, and I'm sure there are other herb combinations that work.)