We went for our usual exercise walk on Beacon Hill today, up and down the steeper streets until we're tired and winded. We usually stop by the Starbucks on Charles and Beacon afterwards, and sometimes we purchase enough calories to wipe out our exercise expenditure and then some. But today we walked out empty-handed; we had iced tea and coffee waiting at home and I was in the mood to make scones.
I'd forgotten how easy and quick they are to bake. And when they're warm and homemade, they're better than any you can buy. Here's the recipe I use, adapted from The River Cottage Cookbook:
Sultana Scones (makes 8)
Preheat the oven to 425 and dust a nonstick baking sheet with a little flour
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour (or add 3/4 tsp salt and 2-1/4 tsp baking powder to ordinary unbleached flour)
1 tsp baking powder
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sultanas or golden raisins
1/2 cup milk or plain yogurt (or a little more, depending on the dough)
Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into little cubes and add them to the bowl. Rub the mixture with your fingers until the butter disappears into the flour and the flour looks like coarse meal. Add the sugar and raisins, and stir. Stir in the milk or yogurt until you have a slightly sticky mass of dough. You may need more or less milk.
At this point, you can just put blobs of the dough onto the pan to form 8 drop scones, or spread out the dough on a floured surface to form a 3/4"-thick rectangle. Cut that into 8 triangles, or use a biscuit cutter to make rounds.
Put the scones on the floured baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until they're golden brown. Serve right away with butter, jam, lemon curd, or clotted cream.