So, you want to try baking the delicious British creations known as scones, ha? Those make for a tasty breakfast with jam or a light snack with your afternoon tea.
You have all the main ingredients ready; milk, eggs, butter, baking powder, and sugar, but what flour for scones?
Luckily, you can make scones with almost any type of flour, the most popular one being all-purpose flour. If you want to change how your scones will appear when you take them out of the oven, you may want to consider other flour types.
In this article, we’ll discuss how different flour types can affect the texture and appearance of your scones. So, let’s get to it!
Yes, plain flour is the basic type of flour that you can use to make scones. However, it must always be paired with a leavening agent, and in this case, it’s the baking powder.
All-purpose plain flour is your way to go if you want to end up with scones that hold their slightly raised shape nicely in the oven and outside of it.
You can definitely use self-raising flour to make scones, but here, you’ll have to remove the baking powder from the equation. This is the way that scones are usually made in Europe.
Better still, you don’t have to worry about portions; you’ll get to use the same amount of self-raising flour as the one determined for plain flour by the recipe.
Yes, almond flour can be a wonderful substitute for plain flour in a scone recipe. Not only is it delicious and flavorful, but it’s also gluten-free, which lets people who have wheat allergies enjoy their scones without any potential risks.
Almond flour is generally healthier than your good ol’ wheat flour, too, as it has lower carbs, and, therefore, calories. Plus, it’s packed with much more nutrients.
Just like plain flour, almond flour needs a leavening agent to enable the scones to rise. You’ll also need to use the same amount of almond flour as the one required for plain flour.
Bread flour is another plain flour alternative you may want to give a try when making scones, but you can expect a significant change in texture and consistency.
Using the same amount of bread flour as the one needed in the recipe for all-purpose flour, your scones will end up more chewy than crumbly.
However, a better idea is to use half your required portion of plain flour and the other half of bread flour so that the resulting pastry isn’t too chewy.
Cake flour is also worth trying in a scone recipe if you want the texture to get closer to a muffin’s. You’ll need to use the same amount as the recipe requires for the plain flour, but other ingredients will have to be adjusted so that the dough doesn’t turn up watery.
Here, you’ll want to use less liquid in your recipe, so make sure you decrease the mixture of milk and eggs by a tablespoon or two.
Yes, sifting flour is a surefire way to end up with fluffy, light scones. No matter the type of flour you’ll be using, you should sift it thoroughly for a couple of reasons.
First off, sifting your flour lets air particles inside the flour, which increases the fluffiness and lightness of your scones. If you don’t do that, your scones will have a higher chance of becoming hard and brittle.
Second of all, by adding your salt, baking powder, and flour on top of each other and sifting them all together, this ensures a balanced, consistent mixture.
Scones will definitely rise with plain flour, but not without baking powder. Unlike self-raising flour, using plain flour to make scones without adding a leavening agent will make it impossible for the scones to rise, and scones are all about height!
As a general rule, use five teaspoons of baking powder for every pound of plain flour that you use in your scone recipe.
The amount of flour you’ll need is the same in all scone recipes, which is around three cups of flour, or 350 grams. This should yield eight scone servings, and you can double the quantity if you want 16 scones.
With three cups of flour, whether it’s all-purpose, almond, or self-raising, you’ll have to use the following ingredients:
- 6 teaspoons of baking powder (but not with self-raising flour)
- ¾ cup of butter
- ½ cup of white sugar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 cup of milk
Sometimes, beginners face the issue of their scones tasting like flour, which, of course, shouldn’t be the case with a successful recipe. So, what’s the reason for this?
Most of the time, a flour-like flavor in your scone indicates that you’ve packed more flour into the dough than necessary. Usually, this can happen if your measurements don’t match those listed in the recipe, especially if you’ll be using cups.
Simply, some cups are larger than others, so you might’ve used a bigger one than the recipe intended. To keep this from happening again, you can increase accuracy by measuring your flour in grams or ounces instead.
There’s a neat trick you can try to ensure your scones rise to a height that’s even in all your scone wedges or circles.
After you cut out the dough, make sure to rest the dough pieces on the baking tray so that they’re side-by-side, touching each other just a tiny bit. This way, they’ll rise evenly with the heat, going straight upward instead of to the sides.
Besides not sifting the flour while preparing the scone dough, other reasons can keep your scones from being as light and fluffy as they should be.
For example, overworking the dough will surely push any air outside its particles, resulting in hard scones. Also, not allowing the oven to heat for around ten minutes before baking the scones in it might lead to the same scenario.
An oven that it’s not hot enough to properly bake your scones to perfection might produce brittle scones.
So, make sure you do all the right things before making your scones to end up with the fluffy texture that we all love about those delicious treats!
Wondering what flour for scones is best?
Well, it all depends on your preferences. Plain flour is the one that’s mostly used in scone recipes, but you can always swap it for almond flour if you’re allergic to wheat or cake flour for a more chewy consistency.
You might also prefer to use self-raising flour, which doesn’t require you to add baking powder to your mix.
No matter what type of flour you choose, we’re sure your scones will taste amazing as long as you stick to the recipe!
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.