If I know that someone is coming over, I try to throw a batch of scones in the oven. Tea and warm scones: is there anything better?
The only way to be able to do this is to take a recipe -- any recipe -- and make it again and again until it becomes second nature. The dough should roll off your fingers. This is the simple recipe I'm working on now.
Mini raisin scones
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup whole milk, or more if necessary
3/4 cup dark raisins
Extra flour (for rolling)
Extra sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and shortening. With your fingers or a pastry blender, work the mixture until it resembles sand.
3. Add the sugar, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the raisins. With the fork, work the milk into the flour mixture to form a moist dough. Add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, until the dough comes together.
4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead it lightly, adding a little more flour to make it manageable but not dry.
5. Press the dough into an oblong or rectangle that is 3/4-inch thick. The size or shape of the dough does not matter. But don't press it thinner than 3/4 inch. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch bands. Cut each band into triangles. Transfer them to the baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar.
6. Bake the scones for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Sheryl Julian
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.