Time from start to warm bread: 30 minutes
Type: quick bread
Bake: 20 minutes at 400
Bread Flour 255g 510g 765g
Whipping Cream 200g 400g 600g
Brown sugar 100g 200g 300g
Salt 3/8t 3/4t 1 1/8 t
Baking powder 2t 4t 2T
Currants 1 palm 2 palm 3 palm
Also required: 1 egg, beaten until foamy; coarse or raw sugar
Good afternoon, sir. May I offer the tea tray? One cream scone and a cup of Ceylon. Excellent, thank you sir.
Imagine you’re in pre-war England. Steam trains puff between stonewalled farms, sheep munch in emerald pastures, and at two-thirty every day, Neville wheels in the silver tea try with the ebony handles and squeaky wheels. Maybe you were a bit peckish after a morning walking the greenlanes with a Holland & Holland in the crook of your arm. Or perhaps reading the Telegraph about this faff in the West Indies had you out of sorts. Only one thing will mend it all: a proper scone. Real cream from Devon’s finest, some currants from Rothwick’s in town, and a few scoopfuls of flour from the sack down cellar. Understated yet decadent, simple yet rich. Perfectly English.
Start out mixing the dry ingredients together, toss in the currants, and tune in BBC’s World Service to hear news from the colonies. Now pour in that thick cream, stir until it’s incorporated, then put away your spoon even though the dough looks far too dry. Stiff upper lip! Now’s the time for Churchillian fortitude and resolve. Begin the final mix with your hands until you can form a sphere that holds together. Press the ball down on parchment until you have a circle roughly an inch thick and 8 inches across.
Calm again? Good, never let them see you perspire, old boy. Divide the circle into eight wedges and separate them out on the parchment and put the whole lot on a cookie sheet. Right, time for the egg. Whip it up until it’s foamy then brush the tops of each scone. Now you can sprinkle some raw or coarse sugar on top but for God’s sake, keep it modest. You’re not a flashy American, after all.
Slide the whole thing into the oven and bake for twenty minutes, rotating halfway through. While baking, allow yourself to hum a few bars of “Rule Britannia”. Once they’re done, feel free, with proper decorum and all that, to eat them warm from the oven. After all, we do allow ourselves these luxuries.
Thank you Neville, that will be all.