Whether they’re eaten as breakfast or with afternoon tea, scones are tasty pastries that everybody loves. That’s why any baker must make scones at least once in their life.
Not only are scones fairly easy to make, but they’re also customizable. You can add fruit, raisins, chocolate, or any other addition of your liking. You’ll be surprised at how delicious the combinations will taste.
The best part about scones is how fluffy they are on the inside. However, not many bakers can master the perfectly risen scones. So, this begs the question, how to make scones rise higher?
You don’t need to worry, as in this article, we’ve gathered all the tips on how to make scones rise higher. So, keep reading to make the perfect airy scones.
What Makes Scones Rise?
Here are the most crucial elements that make your scones rise:
The Leavening Agent
An essential ingredient to make your baked goods rise is the leavening agent. The two most commonly used leavening agents are baking soda and baking powder.
To explain, baking soda and baking powder release carbon dioxide. When the scones are placed in the oven, the carbon dioxide escapes in the form of bubbles, expanding the batter.
This gives your scones the airy, fluffy texture that you want to have. So, that means, with small amounts of leavening agent, there’ll be fewer bubbles.
You need to carefully measure the quantity of your leavening agent. Naturally, if you want your scones to rise higher, you may consider using a bit more of the leavening agent.
However, that’s not always the case. Too much leavening agent can do more harm than good and ruin your recipe.
Simply put, using too much leavening agent will cause your scones to rise way too quickly. Then they’ll deflate just as quickly.
Moreover, you need to make sure you’re using the right type of leavening agent. While many recipes call for either baking soda or baking powder, they’re not interchangeable. So, using one or the other can greatly impact how your scones rise.
The Texture of The Dough
Scones need to have the perfect texture for them to rise properly. The ideal scone dough is often wet and sticky. So, don’t expect it to be similar to cake batter or pizza dough.
If your dough is too wet like a batter, chances are your scones won’t rise high. Alternatively, you don’t want the texture to be dry.
A common mistake most novice bakers make is over-kneading the dough. By over kneading, all the air bubbles will escape from the dough before the baking process. Those air bubbles are essential for your scones to rise.
Additionally, over-kneading allows for the formation of gluten. The gluten, in turn, will make for a chewy scone, not a soft, fluffy one.
The Temperature of the Ingredients
While most recipes call for the ingredients to be at room temperature, scones are different. To make the perfect fluffy scones, your ingredients need to be cold.
To make your scones rise higher, it’s important to make sure all your ingredients are refrigerated beforehand. In fact, some people go the extra mile by refrigerating the entire bowl of ingredients before baking.
The reason cold ingredients, particularly butter, help your scones rise so much higher is simple. During baking, the cold butter melts, releasing steam. This steam, in turn, acts as an additional raising agent.
So, the melting butter, along with the carbon dioxide from your baking powder or baking soda, are crucial to raising your scones higher.
To keep your butter cold while mixing, you’ll need to gently work it into the dough. Avoid melting the butter, and your scones will rise higher.
Quality of the Ingredients
One of the most crucial tips on how to make your scones rise higher is to get high-quality, fresh ingredients. For instance, if you use a low-quality leavening agent, it won’t produce enough amounts of carbon dioxide.
Additionally, if your leavening agent isn’t fresh, it might be stale. So, the leavening agent won’t activate, leaving your scones flat.
A great way to check if your leavening agent is fresh is by adding it to a tablespoon of vinegar. If the mixture sizzles, it means your leavening agent is fresh and active, and you’re set to go.
Preheating your Oven
Every baker knows the importance of a preheated oven. It can make or break the entire recipe.
In fact, leavening agents are double-acting. This means they’re activated once during mixing and once again when baked.
Preheating your oven is crucial to ensure that the gases created during the mixing process don’t escape.
As we’ve previously mentioned, air bubbles are what cause your scones to rise. So, if too much time passes while your oven is still heating up to the required temperature, the air bubbles will escape before the baking process starts.
The same goes if you leave your scones in the oven while it heats up. As a result, you need to make sure the first thing you do is preheat your oven, even before gathering your ingredients.
In addition, you need to ensure you’re baking your scones at the right temperature. Scones need a higher temperature than other baked goods to rise. The general rule of thumb is to set your oven to about 400 F (205 C).
The Cutting Process
Typically, once you’re done baking the scones, you’ll be cutting them. While it might not seem like a big deal, you should be cutting your scones a certain way to avoid flattening them out.
First, you shouldn’t apply too much pressure while cutting your scones. Instead, use a sharp pastry cutter and press down directly on the edges. Then, swiftly lift the cutter up.
It’s also not the best idea to twist the cutter to properly slice the scones. If you’re using a cutter that’s sharp enough, you wouldn’t need to twist it.
How to Make the Perfect Fluffy Scones
Have you tried all the tips we’ve previously mentioned, and you’re still unable to make scones rise higher? That probably means the recipe you’re following isn’t accurate.
The following recipe will help you make the perfect fluffy, high scones you’ve always dreamt about. What’s best about this recipe is that it’s easy. Anyone can do it.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white sugar
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
The following steps will guide you through making the scones:
- Preheat your oven to 400 F
- In a large refrigerated bowl, combine your cold liquid ingredients; the eggs and milk, and beat well until combined
- Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl, then add the butter
- Work the butter into the flour by gently rubbing it
- Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine
- Drop your dough onto a clean, well-floured counter and knead slightly
- Form the dough into a ¾-inch disk, then cut the disk into wedges
- Place the scones in the baking tray, so they’re barely touching
- Bake the scones for around 15 minutes or until they become golden brown
How to Make Scones Rise Higher – Q&A
Still have a question in mind? Here are some frequently asked questions regarding how to make scones rise higher:
Do Scones Need to Rise?
Yes, scones need to rise. Otherwise, they’ll be chewy, not fluffy and airy. Additionally, if scones don’t rise, you won’t be able to add any fillings to them.
How High Should Scones Rise?
Perfect scones should rise to about 2 inches high. As long as they’re fluffy and not deflating, they can be as high as you’d like them to be. The measurements may differ from one recipe to another and depending on your leavening agent.
Why Are Scones Not Rising?
If your scones aren’t rising, you’re probably doing something wrong. This can happen due to various reasons, including:
- Not using enough leavening agent
- Placing scones far away from each other on the baking tray
- Not preheating the oven before putting in the scones
- Low-quality ingredients
How Long Do Scones Take to Rise?
Typically, it takes scones around 10-15 minutes to rise. However, this depends on the recipe you’re following, the ingredients, and the size of each piece. Bigger scones take more time to rise.
Many bakers still can’t get the hang of making perfectly risen scones. There are many, often overlooked, tips that can help you achieve high scones.
Most importantly, your choice of the leavening agent can make or break the recipe. The leavening agent shouldn’t be stale, and you should make sure to properly activate it, either while mixing or in the oven.
In addition, there are multiple things you can do after baking the scones to ensure they remain high. Namely, cutting them properly and eating them while they’re fresh.
Finally, after following our recipe and checking our tips, you’ll be able to make scones rise higher.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.