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Recipe from: February 2010

Ingredients 4
Servings 8
Time 30 minutes


  • 2 cups (500 ml) self-raising flour
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) butter
  • 1\2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
  • 175 ml buttermilk


15 minutes
My mother can bake scones in the time it takes the rest of us to drink our first cup of coffee, and I’ve yet to eat scones in a restaurant that even come close. I’ve often tried to persuade her to weigh the ingredients before she mixes them, just so I can get an idea, but alas. Even threats and pleas are met with a cold shoulder. Ask her where she learned to make scones, and she’ll say: “From my mother. You learn to make scones from your mother.” Well, precisely … So then I decided to do what she does: make them out of my head. The family valiantly braved my first attempt, but it was miles away from my mother’s. The second attempt was, Baking without yeast however, an improvement, and the third one was almost there, although it could do with a little more practice. There’s a lesson in there somewhere. Anyway, this is how I make breakfast scones for four grown-up people and a few smaller ones: In your food processor, mix 2 cups (500 ml) self-raising flour, 4 tablespoons (60 ml) butter and 1\2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Or you can rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips. Now gently stir 175 ml buttermilk into the dry ingredients – my mother uses an old kitchen fork for this purpose. Mix only until the dough is moist; don’t try to obtain a smooth dough. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and lightly shape it into a ball with your hands. Now flatten it to a thickness of 2–3 cm. Leave the rolling pin in the drawer; use your hands. Use a scone cutter or, if you don’t have one, a wine glass to cut out individual scones. Arrange them close together on a greased baking tray. Bake in a very hot oven (220°C) for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with butter and marmalade or jam. Forget about cream as that would be gilding the lily.


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