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Cakes and Scones

also Cinnamon Scones, walnut Scones, Cherry Scones, Almond Scones, Syrup Scones, Cheese Scones etc

Scones - the, probably original, quadrant form.
Image: 'OctopusHat'

Now a small, low, semi-dense soda-raised oven-baked cake, typically made with 1 part fat to 2 parts flour, often with sugar and occasionally with egg.

Most usually made enirely plain or with an admixure of mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas) or glace cherries. Sometimes with blackberries. Occasionally with walnut pieces, cinnamon, almond or golden syrup. Savoury versions commonly include cheese.

Previously the term seems to have referred to any low or flattish cake, and is still used in that way with butter scone, potato scone, etc. The word may derive from the Dutch 'schoonbrot', meaning 'fine bread', and used to refer to a round cake intended to be cut into four quadrants.

Scones - Small Round Form
Image: 'Alpha'

Modern soda scones have been possible only since the invention of baking powder around 1840. The first reference to soda-raised scones we can find is...

Original Receipt in Cassells 'Dictionary of Cookery' of 1892;

Scones, Soda:
Dissolve half a salt-spoon-full of carbonate of soda and five ounces of fresh butter or lard in a quarter of a pint of warm water or milk: put ten ounces of flour into a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and stir in the liquor to make a stiff dough. Roll this out into a round cake a quarter of an inch thick, mark this into eight portions, and bake on a griddle or in a thick frying-pan. Split the scones, butter them well, and serve very hot. Time, to bake, fifteen to twenty minutes.
Probable cost, 6d.

Original Receipt from the 'Wells Journal' - Friday 19 September 1930

Why is it. I wonder, that home made scones are not more popular in England, or at least in the more Southern parts. In Scotland and the most northern counties of England—Northumberland, Westmorland and Cumberland, scones (pronounced scons) are made fresh nearly every day and eaten buttered hot for tea.

There is certainly a “knack” to be learned, but that can easily be overcome. The great secret in scone-making is be quick, mix the ingredients quickly and lightly with a knife, roll out quickly and very lightly on a cold slab and bake in quick oven. Whenever an unexpected visitor arrives at tea time in the North, one member of the family quietly slips out and makes the scones and quick is the operation that I am sure the visitor never guesses who has made them.

Here are a few recipes to try; but remember the art of perfect scone making is not learned in one or two trials. Be prepared far not only one, but several failures. It will be worth it in the end, for once gained, the “knack” becomes power.

1 lb of flour, 1 teaspoonful each of bi-carbonate soda, cream of tartar anti golden syrup, 1 gill or more of milk, pinch salt. Mix lightly, roll out. Bake in quick oven for 10 minutes.

1lb. of flour, 1/4 lb. currants, 21/2 ozs. cornflower, 2oz. sugar, 2oz. butter, 1/2 pint milk.

1lb. flour, 1 gill of sour milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoonful baking power, 1oz. butter, pinch of salt. A little sugar, mix dry ingredients together, make a well in centre, stir in egg well beaten and then the milt. Roll out to half-inch thickness. 10 —15 minutes.


There is no unanimity over the pronounciation of 'scone'. The OED found the following among English speakers in 2013

Image: OED
(see: blog.oxforddictionaries.com/how-do-you-say-scone)

See also:
Afternoon Tea
All-Purpose Scones
Almond Scones
Apple and Cinnamon Scones
Bakestone Cake
Beef Cobbler
Berry Scones
Bristol Cakes
Butter Scones
Buttermilk Scones
Cheese Scones
Chudleigh Buns
Cinnamon and Raisin Scones
Cinnamon Scones
Cream Scones
Cream Tea
Currant Scones
Date and Walnut Scones
Dorchester Scone Ring
Drop Scones
Fish Cobbler
Fruit Cobbler
Herb Scones
Honey Scones
Oat and Syrup Scones
Orange and Cherry Scones
Potato Cake
Potato Scones
Raisin Scones
Shropshire Special Cakes
Singin Hinnies
Spice Scones
Sultana Scones
Syrup and Ginger Scones
Tatie Scones
Threshing Day Barley Bread
Treacle and Oatmeal Drop Scones
Wakes Cake
Walnut Scones
Wholemeal Scones

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