Wholemeal drop scones
Once you start eating these, warm and fluffy from the pan, it's hard to stop. They're great for weekend breakfasts, but just as good for afternoon tea. The kids love to help with them, waiting for the bubbles to appear in the hot batter and judging the perfect moment to flip them over in the pan. If you can't get hold of self-raising wholemeal flour, use plain fine wholemeal flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder added.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs. Pour in about half the milk. Whisk, gently at first, and then as you start to get a thick paste, add more milk and the melted butter.
Beat until you get a creamy batter a little thicker than double cream – you might not need all the milk. Put a large, heavy-based frying pan or a flat griddle over a medium-high heat. Add a few drops of oil and rub with a thick wad of kitchen paper to oil the pan very lightly.
Pour (or 'drop') a scant tablespoon of batter into the pan – to get a disc about the size of a digestive biscuit; you should be able to fit 4 or 5 in the pan.
After about a minute, little bubbles will start to appear on the surface of the drop scones. As soon as they cover the surface, flip the scones over with a spatula – be warned, the first batch may stick. Cook the other side for 40–60 seconds or so, then transfer the drop scones to a warm plate and cover them with a clean tea towel so they stay soft – or hand them over to those waiting eagerly to get stuck in.
Cook the remaining drop scones in the same way, adjusting the heat level if they start browning too quickly and re-oiling the pan with kitchen paper as necessary.
To serve, top with a little butter and sprinkle with some sugar, and a fine dusting of cinnamon, if you like. Or serve buttered and spread with jam, honey or macerated fruit. Eat quickly, while still hot.
Sultana and lemon drop scones
Add a little grated lemon zest to the batter and an extra 10g sugar. Sprinkle some sultanas or raisins on to the scones as they cook.
Savoury drop scones
Omit the sugar. Add about 50g grated Cheddar and a twist of black pepper to the batter, and maybe a couple of finely diced cooked bacon rashers. Very good as a quick supper with baked beans.
- 250g self-raising wholemeal flour
- A pinch of baking powder
- A pinch of sea salt
- 25g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- About 275ml milk
- 50g butter, melted
- A little sunflower oil
- Caster sugar
- A pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
- Jam, honey or macerated fruit, (optional)
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