When a scone recipe calls for laminated dough, it is important to follow a few simple steps to achieve a light and flaky texture. During this process, butter pieces are layered and folded, not mixed, into the dough, and when those cold butter pieces bake, they create pockets of steam that cause the dough to rise -- yielding delicious, fluffy scones.
- Cold butter is essential to creating the steam pockets.
- Start with a loose dough and visible butter pieces. You should be able to see chunks of butter in the dough before you start folding it in.
- Don’t overmix or overwork the dough. A light touch will keep the finished product tender. Mix ingredients until just combined; the warmth of your hands can affect the final product.
- Use only a small amount of flour to dust your hands and the work surface. Too much flour will cause the dough to become dry and stiff.
When you are ready to begin, roll or press out the dough into a rectangle shape, following the recipe instructions. With a short side facing you, use a bench scraper or long offset spatula to lift the ends of the dough, and fold the rectangle into thirds (like a letter). Give the dough a quarter turn, and roll out the dough again, following the recipe instructions.
Most scones are best eaten the same day they are baked. If you are making a big batch, set aside a portion of unbaked pieces to bake at a later date. Chill the pieces in the freezer until firm, and then transfer them to resealable plastic bags. Unbaked scones can be stored in the freezer for up to three weeks. Bring pieces to room temperature, and then bake as directed.
Try these scone recipes: