TRIPLE THREAT SCONES
Scones that have got a good whack of fat in them, because, if you're going to treat yourself, do it properly. The idea here is having an acidy hit from the sour cream, and a slight increase in baking soda to take advantage of that for awesome rise and fluffiness.
350g Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
90g Butter, cubed
3 tbsp Caster Sugar
120ml Whole Milk, warmed to room temperature
2 Large Tbsp Sour Cream
A pinch of Salt
1 Egg, Beaten
Jam (the Jam in the photo is Cloudberry Jam)
Poppy Seeds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan-forced, leaving the baking tray you're going to use in the oven.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in together well.
Add the cubed butter, and rub it into the flour until it looks sandy (my test is that it'll squeeze into a rough ball, and crumble very easily.) Create a well in the middle of the mixture. Add the milk and sour cream to the well. Using a spoon, fold the mixture together using broad strokes. Do this quite quickly, then press it into a lumpy ball so it holds together. I like a fairly coarse looking texture. (might add photos of what this looks like if people need it)
Flour a work surface, and press the dough out with your fingers so it is flat. Lightly dust the top with flour, then fold it over, press it out, flour again. Repeat the process 2-3 times (I find this helps with a fairly grand rise, and assists with breaking them open fairly easily.) Roll it out a final time , and using a round, sharp sided cookie cutter, cut them out, reforming the dough for the last couple to make sure you use it all. Brush the tops with the well-beaten egg.
Pull out the oven tray, line with baking paper, and transfer the scones to the hot baking tray and get it back in the oven, ASAP. This helps develop a firm bottom crust (alternatively, if you've got a non-meat cast iron frying pan or something similarly heavy, use that). Return to the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them, make sure the top doesn't get too dark.
After that, I place them on a wire rack and allow to cool to just "warm" (you don't want to melt the clotted cream too much) - partly so the bottoms don't steam themselves and become squishy. If you find the bottoms are still soft, The welsh cake route has worked for me in the past- give the bottoms a light toasting in a dry non-stick frying pan on a medium heat for a minute or two and that'll help with a slight crust on the bottom.
Serve with ample clotted cream and jam, and a scattering of poppy seeds, for a very slight nuttiness. Try mix it up, and see what else these can take! Experiment with textures and flavours. Serve with Earl Grey tea, because, its the right thing to do.