British-Style Currant Scones

From Cook's Illustrated | March/April 2014

Why this recipe works:

British scones are not as sweet or as rich as American scones, and that makes them more suitable for serving with butter and jam. To make the lightest, fluffiest scones, we added more than the usual amount of leavening: 2 teaspoons of baking powder per cup of flour. Rather than leaving pieces… read more

British scones are not as sweet or as rich as American scones, and that makes them more suitable for serving with butter and jam. To make the lightest, fluffiest scones, we added more than the usual amount of leavening: 2 teaspoons of baking powder per cup of flour. Rather than leaving pieces of cold butter in the dry ingredients as we do for flaky biscuits, we thoroughly worked in softened butter until it was fully integrated. This protected some of the flour granules from moisture, which in turn limited gluten development and kept the crumb tender and cakey. We add currants for tiny bursts of fruit flavor and brush some reserved milk and egg on top for enhanced browning.

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Makes 12 scones

We prefer whole milk in this recipe, but low-fat milk can be used. The dough will be quite soft and wet; dust your work surface and your hands liberally with flour. For a tall, even rise, use a sharp-edged biscuit cutter and push straight down; do not twist the cutter. These scones are best served fresh, but leftover scones may be stored in the freezer and reheated in a 300-degree oven for 15 minutes before serving. Serve these scones with jam as well as salted butter or clotted cream.

Ingredients

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