Scones have the shortest lifespan of any baking. They really are best straight from the oven and with each passing hour they lose their crisp edges and lightness and soften to become heavy. The consolation for this small window of optimum deliciousness is that scones are very quick to make; I was surprised at how quickly I had a tray of scones ready for the oven. The only slightly labourious part is cleaning up the floury bench afterwards, but that can surely be delegated to an eager scone awaiter.
Lois’ folded currant scones are one of the nicest scones I’ve tried. The folding technique creates layers which gives the scones a light and flaky quality. Now that I have been reminded just how quick scones are to make, a repeat bake is on the horizon for this weekend.
Folded currant scones (Lois Daish, Dinner at Home, p.85)
2 cups standard flour
3 tablespoons caster sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
80g cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
Preheat oven to 200°C (fan bake setting). Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder; if using unsalted butter add a pinch of salt. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub the butter into flakes about the size of cornflakes. Add the currants.
Combine the milk and yoghurt in a small bowl and add to the mixture. Using a cutting action than stirring action, use a blunt knife to mix to a soft dough. You may need to add a little more milk if there is lots of unincorporated dry mixture at the bottom of the bowl. Don’t overmix the dough; some of the butter flakes should still be visible.
Place the dough on a floured bench and use a rolling pin to roll out into a 1-2cm thick rectange. Fold over into thirds and roll out again. Fold into thirds a second time, then roll out into a rectangle. Fold this rectangle in half so that you have a thin long rectangle about 10cm by 30cm. Cut the length into around 8-9 rectangular-shaped scones.
Put on a baking tray and bake for about ten minutes until puffed and golden brown. Transfer the scones to a rack covered with a tea towel and fold the tea towel over the top of the scones until it is time to serve them.