Scones are one of the most timeless morning and afternoon tea treats you can make. You only need a few ingredients and they’re pretty easy to whip up. But from time to time we’ve all made a dud batch that totally misses the mark.
Dorothy Collishaw, 99, who’s a member of the Country Women’s Association of Australia, knows this all too well. Speaking to 7News in August 2020, the great-grandmother said her late father showed her how to make perfect, fluffy scones after she cooked a “disastrous batch”. Happily, she’s now shared that secret with us and, surprisingly, it’s got nothing to do with the ingredients.
“When the scones came out of the oven they were like bullets,” she recalled of her first batch. “They were that hard. [My father] said ‘You should’ve stirred them with a knife’, and I said, ‘Well you didn’t tell me that’!”
And it turns out Dorothy’s father was absolutely right. Mixing the ingredients with a knife gives a lightness to the dough and creates fluffier, lighter scones than what often results from using a wooden spoon.
This isn’t the first scone hack to make waves online either. Muriel Halsted, 92, who’s also a member of the Australian Country Women’s Association, made national headlines in May 2020 after she shared her simple recipe for scones.
Muriel’s scone recipe even featured in an ABC baking video, where she explained that the family favourite was made with just three ingredients: flour, cream and lemonade.
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To get started, Muriel says you first need to measure out five cups of self-raising flour. Then you sift the flour three times before adding a pinch of salt. Next, fold in 300 millilitres of cold cream, then add 300ml of lemonade.
She says to keep folding the mixture together until the flour is all mixed in. Once you’ve done that, place the dough on a floured board, cut into your preferred size and brush them with a little bit of milk. Then, pop them in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes at 220C. Who would’ve thought it could be that easy?