It’s that time of year again where television becomes all that more appealing to me, of course it’s the return of The Great British Bake Off. Every year I get instructed by friends & colleagues to apply but alas, another year has passed & my pastry skills still aren’t up to scratch. In the meantime I will watch in awe as the boundaries of baking are pushed, cakes deflate & creme patissiere seeps & oozes (it happens), all the while gaining inspiration for my own kitchen adventures.
In fact, the first baking book I truly fell in love with was GBBO:Everyday . I bookmarked recipes, stocked the pantry & kitted out the kitchen. So began my adventures in baking that would eventually transform to fuel my obsession (enter carrot goo).
So in true GBBO honour, it only makes sense to bring you a true baking & afternoon tea classic: scones. Tea & scones are the perfect partnership, so one day it occurred to me, why not combine the two? As a bit of a tea obsessive, I love experimenting with tea in baking (not all that unusual, Bara Brith anyone?). Earl Grey is a force to be reckoned with, my favourite tea & one which lends itself beautifully to baking, imparting it’s wonderful bergamot aroma simply & boldly. These really shine with a generous dollop of clotted cream & a good quality strawberry jam. So….
On your marks. Get Set. Bake!
EARL GREY SCONES
- 225g self-raising flour
- 40g butter (cold)
- 1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- leaves from x2 earl grey teabags (I use Twinings)
- 110ml buttermilk (or whole milk with a squeeze of lemon juice)
- Sift the flour into a large bowl
- Cube the cold butter & drop into the flour
- Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- Stir through the sugar, salt & tea leaves
- Add the buttermilk to the mixture & gently combine (I always use a knife as opposed to a spoon to do this)
- Gently bring the mixture together with floured hands
- On a work surface, flatten the dough to approximately 3cm thick
- Using a 6cm pastry cutter cut out 6 scones, kneading & reusing the remaining dough
- Brush the tops of the scones with a little whole milk
- Bake in the oven at 220°C for 12 minutes, until well risen & golden
- Cool on a cooling rack
For extra sweetness I like to lightly dust the scones whilst still warm with icing sugar
Tip: When making scones, I always pop the baking tray into the pre-heating oven to heat up. Pop the cut out scones directly onto the hot tray for a good rise.