Thursday, 3 November 2011

Today I shall mostly NOT be Making Scones

I'm sulking.

It's a big pouty-thumb-in-the-mouth-sulk too. 

I like to think that I'm a decent enough cook.  I can follow a recipe. I can make up my own and produce something presentable and palatable at a push.  I can make a mean Vicky Sponge.  Puddings, pies, muffins, brownies - they all turn out ok.   So why can't I make that simplest of fare - that most elementary of cakes - the humble scone?

I've tried.  Lawwwwwd how I've tried.  (cue plaintive Billie Holliday background vocals)  Probably at least 37 (and a half) different recipes.  I've followed allegedly fail safe recipes from friends.  I've attempted those from all of the new young bucks in the culinary world.  I've consulted  the revered tomes of High Priestesses Nigella, Delia and Mary.  And, more latterly, i.e. this morning, I've used the holy grail of all sconish recipes from Richard Hunt, the scone baker extraordinaire who has allegedly made 150,000 of these doughy delicacies in his lifetime and who recently disclosed his top secret method on La Allsop's new programme. 

Well. All I have to say is ...

PAH!!!!  it doesn't ruddy well work!!!

I don't know what I'm doing wrong.  I measure accurately to the very last grain of whatever is required, I handle the dough as little as possible - hey I even hide behind cupboards and merely surprise it a little with a fork rather than over work it. My ingredients are fresh. My oven is correctly set.  I whisper loving incantations to it as the dough comes together.  I offer up silent prayers to the Kitchen Witch as the tray slides into the hot oven.

My culinary nerves are frayed as I chew my nails in anticipation at opening the oven to billowy, well risen pillows of sconishness... only to find what can probably be best described as fat biscuits which sit there in a huddle and snigger at me as if to say... HAHHHH you STILL CAN'T MAKE SCONES!!


Well, scones, you have finally defeated me. My Kitchen Witch has flown out through the cat flap in despair and embarrassment and I'm about to launch another dozen projectiles into the garden for the dog to do with what he will.  I'd throw them to the birds but the RSPB know where I live.

Do you have a fail-safe recipe for the little buggers you'd like to share?   Is there a recipe which constantly defeats you?   I'd love to know!

Thanks to all of you who read my blog and a very warm welcome to my new follower. It's lovely to see you here x


  1. I don't understand that. I'm not a great baker but scones turn out all right for me. Now Vicky Sponge that's the one that defeats me! x

  2. Scones ARE fat biscuits! Did you open the oven door half way through cooking, and shout 'Shortbread'?

    No, I didn't think so... you have to put the fear of Scotland into them!

  3. I'd love to be able to share a recipe with you but I'm a terrible baker (apart from flapjacks, I can just about muster those). If you have any handy tips about cake baking, I'd love to know. Mine turn out like dry old biscuits - boo hoo!

  4. According to my mum (because mine are usually poor too, whilst hers are fab)try using plain yogurt as your liquid instead of milk or buttermilk; roll them out to about an inch before you cut them; and have the oven high.
    Hope this helps!

    K xx

  5. Any suggestions gratefully received!! I shall certainly give the yoghurt tip a try. I don't think I've tried that one yet!! Thank you!

  6. Well, can't really help you out here as I have never made scones. First thing I thought of when reading though was:
    Maybe it's a bit like hair and makeup. If the day doesn't matter, they turn out FAB, it it is something important, or if you are going to run into someone, hair and makeup are a flop!
    Maybe while making them you should just "not care."
    No, I'm serious!

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  8. I too am haunted by scone recipes Kim, I've lost count of all the recipes I've tried BUT then I found James Martin's made with strong bread flour, now THAT works!
    I find IF there's any left next day, brush them with milk or water all over and blat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, lovely :o)
    Hope it works for you too.
    Rose H

  9. OO!!! Thanks Rose! See I knew I could count on you guys!

  10. I have real trouble with scones too so will try Rose's link as I will not give up!

    (will do a bread post soon)

  11. As promised, bread post up . . . with a lovely title. LOL

  12. I have a very old recipe for scones on my blog under the recipe label that has absolutely nothing to do with an oven. You might like to give it a try.

  13. Yoo-hoo Kim!
    Pop over to my blog, there's an award waiting for you!
    Rose H


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