Sweet and savoury scones

Here’s a basic scone mix that you can vary to suit the occasion and your taste buds.

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9oz/250 g  strong white bread flour
1.5oz/40g butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
4.5/125 ml milk
1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt for glazing

For sweet scones:
2 handfuls raisins
1.5oz/40g caster sugar

For savoury scones:
1 handful black olives, stoned and chopped
1 handful sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only – chopped


Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan assisted)/425F/Gas 7).

Set aside about 50g of the flour.

Rub the butter in to the remaining flour to form a fine breadcrumb texture.

Use a wooden spoon to mix in the egg, baking powder and either the sweet or savoury additions-making sure that all is mixed thoroughly.

Add half the milk and mix through before adding half the remaining milk.

The dough should be very soft and sticky –don’t add more milk if it is becoming too wet.

Sprinkle the work surface with some of the reserved flour and place the dough on top and then sprinkle the rest of the flour over it.

Use your hands to repeatedly fold the dough over itself – this adds more air to the dough and mixes in the reserved flour. The dough will still be quite soft but not sticky.

Rollout to about 1 inch or 2.5 cm thick and cut out circles with a pastry cutter that has been dipped in flour.

Re-roll the dough and cut out more scones until it is all used.

Place the scones on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Brush only the tops of the scones with beaten egg and salt.

Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes while the baking powder activates.

Cook for 5 minutes or until risen.

My Tips:

For a traditional Cornish cream tea, split the scones horizontally and then spread with jam followed by whipped cream. A Devon cream tea uses clotted cream before the jam.

Small savoury scones topped with a flavoured butter, pate, salami, ham or whatever else inspires you can make delicious canapes. I’ve often used just a couple of tablespoons of horseradish sauce (instead of the olives, tomato and herbs) and topped the scones with smoked salmon or smoked mackerel pate with a thin quarter slice of lemon.

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© 2023 - Penny Melville-Brown
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