Why My Scones Are Dry
- January 17, 2022
If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.Scones are tasty pastries that most people enjoy alongside hot beverages.They’re traditional pastries in the United Kingdom, but they’ve become quite popular around the world as well.One of the biggest problems that can cause scones to turn out dry involves kneading the dough more than you’re supposed to.In fact, many scone aficionados suggest simply turning the dough over a bit with a spatula and then calling it good.It’s very easy to go overboard when mixing the dough for scones, and you’ll likely need to pay close attention due to how powerful most electric mixers are.Failing to add the butter at the right time could make it so that the scones will turn out dry.The gluten is going to form barriers that will impact how the scones will turn out if you don’t do things just right.If you don’t pay attention and do things in the wrong order, then you won’t get good results.The butter needs to be added to the flour first, and then you need to follow the next steps of the recipe in order.There is a specific sequence of events that needs to play out properly or you’ll wind up with less than stellar scones.Scones are a different type of pastry, and they aren’t supposed to taste or feel like cookies.It helps to puff the scones up, and you want to use the exact amount that is called for in the recipe that you’re using.If your recipe calls for baking soda, then it’s likely that you’ll need to use buttermilk instead of standard milk.So long as you’re paying attention to the things that you need to do, it’ll be possible to get good results when making scones.Enjoy your tasty homemade scones by inviting some of your closest friends and family over for coffee sometime soon. .
How to Make Scones
We’ll dig into which of those steps are actually important (and which aren’t) to give you that light, flaky scone instead of a brick.Scones break apart easily and it makes for quite a unique eating experience.It should fall apart easily when you pull a part off, but it shouldn’t crumble apart in your hands.You might be surprised to learn, that it isn’t that different from the American biscuit, Both are crumbly, light and moist and use very similar preparation techniques.Classic British scones in the UK, eaten with clotted cream & jam.These crucial steps all relate to creating that characteristic crumbly scone.A crumbly scone breaks apart very easily into smaller bite size chunks.You have to tear a part off a baguette, taking a lot more effort than breaking of a piece of scone.The main reason for these differences is the existence or absence of a gluten network.A bread dough is kneaded extensively to organize and align the gluten that are naturally present in wheat flour.They align and form this strong network if there’s enough water and if the dough is kneaded extensively.There is another way to help prevent gluten formation, it’s to put barriers in place for the proteins to interact.Rubbing in the butter consistently throughout the flour is essential for making that crumbly scone.At this point you can use an electric mixer without any risk of over mixing (just be careful to not melt the butter).Upon placing the scone dough into the oven these pockets of butter will start to melt.Where the butter used to sit is now an opening, forming a perfect ‘break’ area for when you’re pulling apart a piece of your scone.Remember that baking soda only works well if there’s some other form of acid in the recipe.Aside from providing sweetness, the sugar also helps to brown the scone more quickly in the oven.If there are still large clumps of flour or pockets with a lot of water, it won’t hold together in those areas.Apart from that we tested: Mixing everything in in one go; overall scone looked good, top right, but it tasted a little dry and bland.Substituting water for milk; turned out just fine, especially if you will be eating your scone will flavourful toppings.If your scones barely rise in the oven, reconsider the amount of water you’ve added.If you’re using baking soda, take care that you’ve added at least one sour ingredient (e.g. buttermilk).Some fillings even help to create that light and crumbly texture, whereas with others you have to be a bit more careful that they don’t undo all your previous hard work.Therefore, cheese will serve a similar function as the butter in your scone, it will help keep it crumbly and light.To most scone recipes you can add grated cheese without it negatively impacting the texture.A good fruit we found is cranberries, they barely release any moisture when they’re uncooked!If you do want to add more moist fruit, reduce the amount of milk you’re adding.They will puff up slightly differently as you can see in the photos on this post, but still taste great. .
Making Scones: Tips and Troubleshooting Problems
Like all baked goods, a lot can go wrong at each step, throwing your recipe into a tailspin.If you're adding fruit, chocolate or other sweet ingredients to a basic scone recipe, use less sugar.If you're making scones with ingredients like canned pumpkin or mashed banana, use less buttermilk than you would normally use.Just press it into the mixture, cutting the butter as you go and wiping the cutter clean of dough with your hand as needed.Add just enough buttermilk or milk (preferably low-fat) to make the dough stick together.If you're using frozen fruit, and add it at the last minute (just before you cut the scones) to prevent its juices from melting before it gets into the heat of the oven.Once your dough is crumbly, you can freeze it in a sealed plastic bag until you're almost ready to bake it.For pink scones (for events like Valentine's Day or a birthday party), puree raspberries and use them as a portion of your liquid ingredients.Move a chunk of dough from the mixing bowl to a floured cutting board.If the dough is too crumbly when you place it on the cutting board, add slightly more buttermilk.If the dough is too sticky when you put it on the cutting board, add more flour.Optional: If you have remaining flour dregs, you can add a very small amount of buttermilk to them and use them as additional dough. .
If the dough is too crumbly when you place it on the cutting board, add slightly more buttermilk.If the dough is too sticky when you put it on the cutting board, add more flour.Similar to making pie crust, using cold ingredients prevents the butter from melting before the scones are baked, leaving it instead to melt in the oven and create a super-flaky end result.Properly stored, freshly baked scones will last for about 1 to 2 days at normal room temperature. .
As for the comment that the oven time is too hot and long---the temperature is good--but I would think the baking time would fall more in the range of 15-20 minutes, depending upon whether you are baking from frozen dough or freshly made scone dough.Since all ovens bake differently, rely less on the actual time and more on how the scone looks--it should be lightly golden on top and not doughy in appearance in the center. .
Foolproof Scone Recipe
Today I’ll be sharing everything you need to know to make traditional, plain scones.A flaky, crisp exterior exposes a tender, buttery soft interior that melts away in your mouth.I’ll take you through my Foolproof Scone Recipe, a myriad of tips and step-by-step photos so that you can master them too.As a bonus, I’ve also provided notes on how to make a Small-Batch Scone Recipe too (to be found in the FAQ section).The delightful English scone has graced the plates for afternoon tea in kitchens for years.If you love an afternoon snack then you'll enjoy my Cherry Almond Scones, Chocolate Hazelnut Granola Bars or Lemon Poppy Seed Madeleines.Flour, butter, egg and milk make up the core ingredients of these scones and you're most likely going to have them in your kitchen.Flour, butter, egg and milk make up the core ingredients of these scones and you're most likely going to have them in your kitchen.Served alongside a cup of tea these make the perfect afternoon snack.Self-raising flour - Part of the success of making scones lies in the height that they rise.- Part of the success of making scones lies in the height that they rise.- Salt adds depth to the flavour and the extra baking powder helps create a little more lift.- I prefer full-fat milk due to the higher fat content which adds more richness to the dough.Unsalted butter - Has to be cold in order to create flaky layers within the scone.Into a large mixing bowl, sift in your dry ingredients; flour, baking powder and salt.If your kitchen is warm then measure out your ingredients and refrigerate them all for half an hour (mixing bowl included) before you crack on with the method.If you have warm hands, run them under cold water to reduce their temperature, then pat dry before handling the butter.Now rub the remaining cubes of butter into the flour but this time leave them larger until they are the size of peas.Tip the scone mix onto a lightly floured surface and using your hands, bring it together and gently flatten it out.We're going to use a folding technique to create flaky layers and incorporate air into the dough and minimise kneading.Dip a 6 cm (21⁄4-inch) cookie cutter in flour and stamp out 4 or 5 rounds.TIP: Dipping the cookie cutter in flour will help when cutting out the scones without them sticking.Note, that they won't rise quite as much as the first round, as you’ve worked the dough more than the first scones.TIP: If you forgot to set aside some egg wash, don't worry - brush the tops with milk.To change things up scones are delightful when served with other types of condiments such as lemon curd, blackberry jam and even a pear & ginger compote.Make a simple glaze of powdered icing sugar with a little citrus juice to drizzle on top of the scone for extra flavour.Make a simple glaze of powdered icing sugar with a little citrus juice to drizzle on top of the scone for extra flavour.: Any dried fruit such as sultanas, raisins, cranberries or chopped apricots are a wonderful addition.Berries : Frozen or fresh strawberries, blueberries or raspberries can add the perfect fruity kick.: Frozen or fresh strawberries, blueberries or raspberries can add the perfect fruity kick.Savoury: Add cheese, herbs or even crispy bacon pieces for the perfect accompaniment to your meal.The aim is to keep the butter as cold as possible when making the dough so that it melts when it hits the high heat, not before, and creates that uber flakey interior we're after.This prevents the activation of gluten and in turn, tough scones when baked.This allows the flour to hydrate, the gluten to relax, butter to re-chill and harden and baking powder to get to work.Add enough moisture to the dough so it feels slightly wet and sticky when you turn it out.I believe scones benefit from the egg as it binds the ingredients, adds flavour but also acts as a leavener and aids in the rise, leading to increased fluffiness.For the standard size recipe above, add 3 teaspoons of baking powder to 375g/3 cups plain (all-purpose) flour and stir together.Continue as per the recipe instructions and the other ingredients, including the stated baking powder.My pro tips cover what I believe to be foolproof techniques to make incredible scones.Don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter, so that you don’t miss out on more delicious food, tips and news but also the chance to download your FREE DESSERT E-BOOK! .
A Scone Is Not a Biscuit - Bon Appétit
There was coffee and pastries in the morning, a manageable sandwich selection at lunch, and a navigable dinner menu.Theoretically it was the perfect spot to cozy up with a scone and a pot of tea on a "sick" day.Sure, they're made up of almost the same stuff—flour, leavener, fat, dairy—but they are two altogether different things and you better not try to trick me into thinking one is the other.Tender, yes, but sturdy enough to support or be dragged through gravy, a runny egg yolk, or a generous serving of maple syrup.A scone's finer crumb welcomes an addition, be it herbs, chocolate, or a simple handful of currants.Would you want to eat that poor burned raisin hanging off a biscuit cliff for dear life?So when Test Kitchen contributor Jess Damuck set out to develop a perfect scone recipe, I was watching.Tender, just crumbly enough, ready, able, and yielding to a number of delicious additions. .
How can I make these scones less crumbly?
This recipe makes the most delicious scones--but the texture is impossibly crumbly.If I shape the dough into a round, cut it into wedges, and bake on a cookie sheet (like the recipe says) I can't even pick up the scones when they're baked--they just fall apart, If I make them in a divided scone pan, I have to shovel them out in pieces, I still happily eat the crumbs with a fork--they taste wonderful--but they're not exactly something I can serve to guests, or take anywhere.Stir just until the flour mixture is moistened, then gently knead five times.Cut into 8 or 12 wedges and place on ungreased cookie sheet. .
How to Make Scones
It wasn’t until I perfected my own recipe that I realized how delightful scones can be.They’re somehow sturdier and heartier than biscuits, but without being overly dry or crumbly.You can dress them up by adding nuts, citrus zest, or chocolate chips.Or simply serve them plain alongside some local jam or homemade flavored butter.As the steam escapes, it bursts up and creates that beautiful tall, flaky texture.It also adds a lovely tang to create more depth of flavor.My absolute favorite tool for making biscuits or scone dough quickly and easily by hand (so I don’t have to lug out my food processor) is this OXO bladed pastry blender.If at any point you notice the butter become greasy and melty, pop the dough into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before proceeding.You can also pop the tray of shaped unbaked scones in the fridge or freezer while the oven preheats to ensure the butter remains nice and cold.How to Make Tall, Flaky Scones BONUS tip: We’re stealing a trick from croissant baking that I use in my Best Ever Pie Crust recipe!A little bit of lamination gets the scones to shoot up sky high with tons of flaky layers.I actually demonstrated this during a live Zoom class exclusively for HTH Members earlier this year.But you can add in about 3/4 cup of dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, etc., to the dough.Use a spatula to gently fold in 1 1/2 cups blueberries to the scone dough as a final step before shaping.Citrus zest, to taste, if desired Directions: Whisk all glaze ingredients together until thick but still pourable.Easy recipe with make-ahead instructions and tons of baking tips below.Coarse sugar Directions Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat to 400°F.In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, 1 egg, and vanilla extract.*Optional Step: See Recipe Notes for lamination instructions.Cut each round into 8 wedges and place on your prepared baking pans.MAKE AHEAD At this point the unbaked scones can be refrigerated overnight, or sealed and frozen for up to 1 month.In a small bowl, combine the remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water.Every month you can join the challenge by baking the recipe and snapping a photo for a chance to win prizes!This recipe was originally published in May 2017 and was recently updated in 2021 with new photos and more baking tips! .