English scones cheap vs steep

by Barry Lewis


350g Good quality Self-raising flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp baking powder

90g butter, chilled & cut into cubes

3 tbsp caster sugar

180ml milk

1tsp vanilla extract

1tsp fresh lemon juice

1 egg, beaten

To serve

Clotted cream

Strawberry jam

In this episode of Cheap vs steep we are attempting UK scones, making a classic recipe and comparing budget vs luxury ingredient items! The difference was crazy – things like the eggs for an egg wash made no difference despite the colour change, but the flour and perhaps the jam really stood out! Hope you enjoy giving these a go, experiment with different jams and fillings! Enjoy!

How to make the best UK scones (in our opinion!)

First up we found only flour made the biggest difference in terms of the texture so do try to get a super fine milled self-raising cake flour if you can! Put the flour in a bowl with the baking powder and salt and mix together. Add in the butter and blend it with a pastry blender or rub together with fingers and thumbs until it resembles breadcrumbs. At that point stir in the sugar with a spoon to combine.

Warm the milk in a microwave for 30 seconds or so and add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add this mixture into the dry mix and mix well with a fork or table knife to bring the wet and dry ingredients together, you can use your hands towards the end, if it’s too dry add a little extra milk, too wet, more flour, but it should be ok, give it a few minutes of mixing for it to absorb at first.

On a chopping board add the flour, roll out the dough until about an inch or so thick, cut into circles with a rounded cookie cutter and cut fat discs of the dough out placing on a lined baking tray. Repeat and re-use the dough as needed, brushing the tops with a beaten egg.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top, the oven should be pre-heated to Gas 7/200fan/220c or equivalent. Allow to cool. Slice in half and serve with good quality jam and clotted cream! Best served still only slightly warmed, keep in an airtight container!

The flour really makes a difference. Perhaps the butter too, but other than the jam which the basic one was quite sugary, every other budget ingredient in our opinion made no difference! Good luck and enjoy!