This recipe has been my go-to scone recipe ever since I discovered it at the Royal Melbourne Show many years ago.
Like many other show-goers, we trudged to the Country Women’s Association (CWA) tea room mid-afternoon to rest our tired feet and settle our grumpy children.
Impressed with the speed at which hundreds of feather-light scones were prepared before our eyes, I asked one of the CWA ladies for the recipe. She said that, instead of butter, the Victorian CWA uses cream in its scones to speed up the preparation time.
Sucker that I am for a good, old-fashioned recipe, I let the kind CWA lady persuade me to buy the cookbook in which the scone recipe appears, although, sadly, it seems to have disappeared in our move to Adelaide.
Since then, I’ve made hundreds of these scones at cub camps and other events, and they are always successful.
The trick with these scones is to minimise handling. Use a knife to mix the dough until just combined, then press or roll it out gently. Too much handling develops the gluten in the flour, leading to tough, heavy scones.
The original recipe gave a cooking time of eight to ten minutes but I find that they take a little longer in my oven.
- 375g (2½ cups) self-raising flour (1 cup = 150g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 125 ml cream
- 250ml milk (don't pour it all in at once; you probably won't need it all)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (200 degrees fan-forced.)
- Grease a large baking tray.
- Sift flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Pour in cream, then milk a little at a time, and mix with a knife. Use sufficient milk to make a firm mixture (just enough milk to make dough come together without being too wet or sticky).
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out one way to 12 mm thickness (I usually just pat it out with my hands).
- Cut dough into circles with a 5 cm (2") cutter and put on a greased tray.
- Place the circles in a block with sides touching as this helps the scones to rise well; you pull them apart once they are cooked.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown on top.
- Brush tops with melted butter while scones are still hot.