Delicious served warm. Top each half-scone with a little Sweet Sour Beetroot Relish (posted separately), a small dollop of soured cream, and garnished with a mint leaf, or just enjoy with butter. The secret to good scones is not to over-mix the dough, and to cook them in a hot oven. Another tip is not to cut scones in half - just start the cut with a knife, then pull apart with fingers.
- 8 ounces self-rising flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 ounces butter, cold from the refrigerator and cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1⁄2 tablespoon finely chopped sage
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon leaf
- 5 ounces milk (more or less may be required)
- milk, a little extra to glaze
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Lightly grease a baking tray and dust it with flour.
- Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl.
- Add butter to the bowl, toss briefly through the flour, then rub it in with your (preferably cold) fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the herbs.
- Start adding the milk, mixing initially with a spatula or palette knife, and then when the dough starts to come together, with a quick light hand.
- You are aiming for a soft, unsticky dough which leaves the sides of the bowl clean; you may not need all the milk if, however, the dough seems a bit dry, add a teaspoon more milk at a time.
- Be careful not to add too much milk, and do not overwork the dough.
- Shape the dough into a round with your hands and place on a lightly floured surface.
- Flour the rolling pin, then lightly roll out the dough to a thickness of a half-inch.
- Stamp out 2 rounds with a biscuit cutter.
- When you are left with the trimmings, bring these together and roll out again lightly, and continue stamping out rounds until you have cut out the last scone.
- Lay the scones on the prepared tray, and brush the tops lightly with the extra milk.
- Bake 10 12 minutes until well risen and lightly browned.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool.
- Serve as suggested above, and store any left over in the freezer, to be gently re-warmed later in a microwave oven.