Years ago I had a recipe for the soda scones my mother used to make while I was growing up. We've lost the recipe! While I search out a good replacement, I have found a new favourite slightly sweet scone. Light and delicious, I tried this for the first time last weekend. It's better than this one. Yum, yum... thank you Delia Smith.
Here's Delia's recipe, with a few little alterations of mine.
4 tablespoons of buttermilk, plus a little extra for brushing
8 oz (225 g) self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting (*To make self-raising flour if you live in North America and can only find all-purpose flour, I add one and a half teaspoons of baking powder to each cup of flour)
pinch of salt
3 oz (75 g) butter, at room temperature
1½ oz (40 g) golden caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 425F. (Yes, it's a hot oven, but you'll read lower down that you're going to bake the scones on the top shelf). Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then rub the butter lightly into the mixture until it looks like breadcrumbs, then add the sugar.
In a jug, beat the egg and buttermilk together and add three quarters of this to the flour, mixing the dough with a palette knife. When it begins to come together, finish off with your hands – it should be soft but not sticky (if the dough seems too dry, add a little more buttermilk, a teaspoon at a time).
When you have formed the dough into a ball let the dough rest for five minutes. Then tip it on to a lightly floured surface and roll it into a circle at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick – be very careful not to roll it any thinner; the secret of well-risen scones is to start off with a thickness of no less than an inch.
Cut out the scones by placing the cutter on the dough and giving it a sharp tap – don't twist it, just lift it up and push the dough out. Carry on until you are left with the trimmings, then bring these back together to roll out again until you can cut out the last scone. Place the scones on the baking tray, brush them lightly with the rest of buttermilk/egg mixture and dust with a little flour.
Now bake on the top shelf of the oven for 10 minutes, or until they are well risen and golden brown, then remove them to a wire rack to cool. Serve the scones thickly spread with your jam of choice (raspberry is my favourite) and lots of clotted cream. If you can't find clotted cream, I use freshly whipped. If you are not going to eat them all at once (shyeah), make sure to freeze them. They don't keep fresh more than a day.