Buttermilk Scones

Morning coffee and afternoon tea would not be complete without fresh scones, and there are so many delicious varieties. The secret of making good scones is a quick, light hand when mixing, and a hot oven.

225g/ 8oz self-raising soda bread flour
pinch salt
25g/ 1oz butter or hard margarine
1 egg, beaten
140/ 5fl oz buttermilk
egg or milk to glaze (optional)
Makes 8

Preheat oven to gas mark 8/ 230°C/ 450°F. Sift flour with salt and rub in butter or margarine. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg and most of the buttermilk. Mix quickly to form a soft dough, adding a little extra buttermilk if necessary. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out lightly until 2.5cm/ 1 inch in thickness. Working quickly, cut into 5cm/ 2 inch rounds. Glaze with egg or milk and set on a floured baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until light brown.

Savoury Cheese and Herb Scones

Add 1tsp dry mustard, 50g/ 2oz grated cheese and 2tbsp fresh, chopped herbs to the dry ingredients and proceed as before. After brushing with egg or milk, scatter a little grated cheese on the top of each scone.