When you want a perfect English afternoon tea, chances are you want a light, fluffy scone smeared with strawberry jam and cream.
Unfortunately, scones may sometimes turn out dry and crumbly, making them unsuitable for that high tea moment. What are the greatest hints for making fluffy scones?
Use precisely measured, sifted cake flour, active baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar to produce fluffy scones. Keep the butter and shortening at room temperature and massage them in by hand. Bind the dough gently with buttermilk or egg and milk. Avoid overworking the dough. Scones are best served warm.
It is simple to make fluffy scones. There are a few baking tricks to generating those delightful, fluffy scones that make such great preserves receptacles. What were Grandmother’s secrets for making fresh, warm, fluffy scones?
- What Makes Scones Fluffy?
- Fluffy Scones Secret 1: The Flour
- Fluffy Scones Secret 2: The Rising Agent
- Fluffy Scones Secret 3: The Fat
- Fluffy Scones Secret 4: The Wet Ingredients
- Fluffy Scones Secret 5: The Dough
- Fluffy Scones Secret 6: Eat Them Fresh
- Final Thoughts
- What is the trick in making good scones?
- Why aren t my scones light and fluffy?
- How do you keep scones soft?
- Why don t my scones rise high?
- Should you put egg in scones?
- What is the best flour to use for scones?
- Should you let scone dough rest?
- Should you chill scones before baking?
- Should you sift flour for scones?
- Why are my scones heavy and dense?
What Makes Scones Fluffy?
The keys to fluffiness are the same whether you’re preparing the plainer, round English scones that go with traditional cream tea, the sweeter, triangular scones that have grown popular in America, or its cousin, the baking powder biscuit.
In all of these baked items, seek for a delicate, airy texture with a moist delicacy that melts in your mouth. You don’t want a bread-like texture, which is great in a chewy or crusty baguette.
This texture is caused by a combination of components. The first is fat, namely butter. In most baked items, fat serves two functions.
First, fat covers the flour to prevent it from producing gluten, which is responsible for the bread’s structure.
Gluten is a protein molecule that forms a web-like structure when flour is handled or kneaded and becomes flexible and springy. You want to produce this texture in bread, but you don’t want gluten to grow in scones.
Second, fat traps air in the scones, allowing them to rise and stay moist. When creating scones, the rubbing or cutting procedure leaves small lumps of butter in the dough.
While baking, the butter melts, creating little air pockets that fill with steam and expand, making the scone light and moist.
Baking powder is another component that contributes to the fluffiness of your scones. Yeast is not required in scone dough due to the absence of gluten.
Instead, the ingredients in baking powder create a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide gas into the moist dough, causing it to rise rapidly.
Another fluffiness maker is creating scones, step by step, and adding ingredients in the correct sequence. Mixing all of the ingredients in a food processor will result in extremely firm, tough scones.
Let’s take a look at each component and procedure involved in baking fluffy scones.
Fluffy Scones Secret 1: The Flour
The majority of scone recipes start with dry ingredients, one of which being flour.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Use Cake Flour
Cake flour is perfect for scones since it has the lowest protein concentration of all flours, ranging from five to eight percent. Cake flour is the ideal option for a fluffy texture due to its relative absence of gluten protein.
Typically, cake flour is chlorinated or bleached. The chemical bleaching technique decreases the existing gluten while increasing the flour’s ability to absorb sugar and fluids, resulting in a moist scone.
Scones may be made effectively using all-purpose flour. If you wish to create wholewheat scones, however, keep in mind that the texture will never be as fluffy and airy.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Sift Your Flour
Previously, one of the primary reasons for sifting dry materials was to eliminate lumps. Most flour nowadays is so finely treated that it has no lumps.
Sifting is still an important step in creating scones for two reasons.
The first reason is that sifting adds air, which is necessary for fluffiness. The second reason is that sifting dry ingredients together (you’ll sift in the baking powder and salt at the same time) fully combines them.
To sift flour, set a sieve over a mixing bowl and add the necessary amount of flour. Shake the sieve gently until all of the dry ingredients have passed through the perforations. Remove any remaining lumps or crumbs from the sieve.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Don’t Add Too Much Flour
While flour contributes to the scones’ deliciousness, too much flour results in a dry, disagreeable texture.
Measure Your Flour
Too much flour will result in stodgy scones, so carefully measure your flour. Check your recipe to see what it says:
- If a recipe asks for 1 cup sifted flour, sift it into a separate bowl, measure it, and then add it to the mixing bowl.
- If the recipe asks for 1 cup sifted flour, measure it first and then sift it into the measuring basin.
Scone Dough Is Sticky
You may be tempted to add additional flour to the scone batter if it seems too sticky, but resist.
Scone dough should be somewhat sticky when turned out to cut, so work on a lightly floured surface and gently flour your hands while patting out the dough. Don’t be tempted to add more flour to the dough.
Fluffy Scones Secret 2: The Rising Agent
The rising agent, commonly baking powder, is another of the dry ingredients you’ll start with. Some scone recipes, however, call for baking soda or other rising agents.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Use Baking Powder
Scones benefit greatly from the use of baking powder as a rising agent. Baking powder makes scones fluffy in the same way that it makes biscuits fluffy.
Make sure your baking powder is fresh and effective for fluffy scones. If your baking powder is old (typically after six months after opening), your scones will lack that airy feel.
Check the activity of your baking powder by placing roughly a teaspoon in a cup and adding a cup of boiling water. The mixture will begin to bubble if the baking powder is still active. If there are no bubbles, your baking powder has expired, and your scones will be sad and flat. Throw it away.
You cannot substitute baking soda for baking powder because the chemical reaction required by baking soda, such as cream of tartar, lemon juice, or buttermilk, will not occur.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Add Crème of Tartar
Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), cream of tartar, and salt may be used instead of baking powder. These are typical baking powder ingredients, so you’re simply adding them individually.
Nigella Lawson, British cooking author and all-around domestic goddess, swears by using cream of tartar to make her scones appear like they have cellulite since they are so light, fluffy, and tall.
If your recipe asks for acids such as buttermilk or honey, use baking soda instead. Using baking soda prevents the sourness caused by the combination of baking powder and another acid.
Fluffy Scones Secret 3: The Fat
Scones are traditionally made using butter, however shortening or margarine may also be used. Most scone recipes call for rubbing or chopping diced butter into the dry ingredients.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Use a Combination of Butter and Shortening
Most scone recipes call for simply butter, but here’s a fluffy scone trick: combine butter and shortening.
Scones will always need butter, but this is what gives baked products their rich taste and airy texture. Because butter is twenty percent water and eighty percent fat, it is ideal for airy scones.
The butter melts, the flour absorbs the oil, and the water evaporates as steam as the scones bake. The steam lightens and expands the scones.
By using a tiny amount of shortening (approximately one-third of the needed fats), you retain the buttery taste while gaining the benefits of vegetable fat.
Shortening may tenderize flour, giving your scones an extra fluttery lightness. Because of its greater melting point, it will not melt rapidly while being worked into the flour; this is the danger you take with butter, as you will see.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Keep the Fats Cool
Whatever fat you use in your scones, it is critical to keep it as cold as possible. Refrigerate your fat until the very last minute.
The reason for keeping the fats cold is that once they begin to melt, the flour starts to absorb moisture. If the flour absorbs the lipids before the dough is baked, there will be no fat to melt and provide the essential air pockets for your scones to expand and moisten. You’ll be given a cookie instead of a scone.
Another reason to keep the butter cold is to avoid it from melting when you massage it in by hand. Instead of using a food processor for this step, use your hands or a pair of knives to cut in the butter, moving them in different directions.
Remember that melted butter at this point means that the flour will absorb it rapidly, causing the dough to become sticky and tempting you to add additional flour.
Fluffy Scones Secret 4: The Wet Ingredients
After rubbing the fats into the flour, add a liquid to bind the dough. This liquid might be water, milk, eggs, buttermilk, or a mixture of these.
To make dough, combine the butter-flour combination with the liquid gently and rapidly. Never prepare scone dough in a food processor or mixer because it will become rough due to the rapid development of gluten.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Use Buttermilk
Buttermilk, as Southern chefs know, is the ultimate tenderizer; it can be used to marinate poultry and is one of the components in the softest breakfast pancakes and biscuits.
When you use buttermilk as the liquid in your scones, they become soft and light.
Remember to substitute the baking powder with baking soda and salt if you wish to use buttermilk.
To Make Scones Fluffy, add Egg
Although most English scone recipes call for simply milk, most American scone recipes include an egg. The addition of an egg results in a richer, more indulgent scone batter with a soft texture.
Eggs provide two characteristics to your scones: first, they include fat, which results in a moist, delectable scone. Second, eggs contribute air to make the dish lighter.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Don’t Add Too Much Liquid
Whatever liquids you’re using, combine them in a cup and then add roughly half to the flour-butter mixture. Combine the ingredients briefly to form a soft dough, gently pushing it together with your fingertips or a spatula.
If the dough need additional moisture, it will crumble and not come together at all. Scones will be dry if the dough is too dry.
However, if you add too much liquid, the dough will become exceedingly sticky, and you will need to add additional flour, resulting in stodgy scones.
Fluffy Scones Secret 5: The Dough
You’ll have your scone dough after you’ve gently combined the dry and wet components without using an electric mixer. As you continue to puff up the scones, be gentle with the dough.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Don’t Overwork the Dough
To make a light, sticky dough, mix wet and dry components with the lightest touch possible. Then roll it out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten it down to approximately an inch in height.
Do not try to knead the dough; it should be too sticky and soft. Overworking the dough is one cause of bready and chewy scones. In contrast to bread or rolls, scone dough does not need any kneading.
Overworking the dough results in the formation of gluten, which is responsible for the structure and texture of baked foods. with bread, you knead the dough extensively to develop the gluten and provide stretch and chewiness, which you do not want with scones.
Another issue with overworking scone dough is that it forces the air out of the dough, which is necessary for optimal rising. Using your hands to form the dough rather of a rolling pin helps keep the scones light and fluffy.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Cut Them Out with Care
The scones will then be cut out using a cookie cutter or a knife. Unlike rolling the scones into balls (which is not suggested), cutting out the scones enables the edges of the dough to spread and rise.
Many American scones are triangular in shape, formed by gently molding the dough into a circle and then slicing it like a pizza.
English scones are often carved out using a flour-dipped circular cookie cutter. To get the same form, you may also use a glass. When cutting out the scone, be careful not to twist the cutter, since this bends the dough and prevents it from rising correctly.
Using a circular cutter does result in surplus dough. Take care not to overwork the dough if you cut out scones and then drag the dough together to flatten and shape again.
To Make Scones Fluffy, Chill the Dough
It is normal practice to rest and refrigerate pastry dough. If you have the time, you may also make scone dough.
After you’ve cut out your scones, place them on a baking sheet and place them in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes.
Resting the dough allows the gluten to relax. Chilling the dough permits the butter to solidify in preparation for baking. Meanwhile, the flour slowly absorbs moisture, enhancing the taste and making the scones even more delicate.
Fluffy Scones Secret 6: Eat Them Fresh
Scones are best eaten hot and fresh, or at the very least on the day they are baked, since they lose their light fluffiness rapidly.
Use cake flour, baking powder, ice-cold butter, and liquids to make the fluffiest scones possible. Use buttermilk and shortening to enhance softness, but don’t overwork the sticky dough.
When tying or cutting out the scones, use gentle hands to avoid overworking the dough. Finally, devour the soft and wonderful fluffy scones as soon as they come out of the oven.
What is the trick in making good scones?
The less you knead the mixture, the less the gluten will tighten, resulting in scones that are loose and crumbly rather than tight and bouncy. Make certain that you filter the flour and baking powder into the mixing basin. This implies the two will be well blended, giving you a higher likelihood of an equal increase.
Why aren t my scones light and fluffy?
Before you put the scones in the oven, make sure it is at the correct temperature for baking. Having an oven that is too hot or too cold will also have a significant impact on the baking of your scones.
How do you keep scones soft?
You should cover them with foil or plastic wrap. Putting them in an airtight plastic container or sealed plastic bag will also work. It is critical that the scones be stored at room temperature. As long as it’s not too hot, storing them in a pantry or breadbox is acceptable.
Why don t my scones rise high?
Why didn’t my scones rise as high as yours did? First, make sure you’re using new baking powder, preferably one that was opened within the last 6 months. Also, if you overwork the dough, the scones will not rise as tall. Knead the dough lightly, just enough to bring it together.
Should you put egg in scones?
Large Egg – The egg helps to bind the components and adds richness and flavor. Unsalted butter – Must be cold in order to form flaky layers inside the scone.
What is the best flour to use for scones?
For a higher-rising scone that retains its form well in and out of the oven, use all-purpose flour. Substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour to produce more delicate, lower-rising, cake-like scones. Reduce the liquid by 1 to 2 teaspoons in the recipe, using just enough to bring the dough together.
Should you let scone dough rest?
The reason is simple: much as with other doughs, including pizza dough, resting allows the gluten in scone dough to relax fully, preventing it from snapping back during shaping or baking.
Should you chill scones before baking?
Not chilling the dough before baking: To truly nail your scones, refrigerate the dough again before baking. While using cold components is beneficial, your hands will warm up the dough as you work with it, and the added step of chilling will help you get the greatest results.
Should you sift flour for scones?
Remember to sift!
Make careful to sift your flour twice or even three times, as this removes clumps and allows for more air pockets in the scone dough, resulting in a fluffier and more crumbly scone.
Why are my scones heavy and dense?
My scones are thick, hefty, and lack volume.
You may have used too little rising agent or handled the dough too much before baking. The oven might have been too cold.