Scones are tasty pastries that most people enjoy alongside hot beverages. They’re traditional treats in the United Kingdom, but they’ve become quite popular around the world as well.
You might like having them with your friends and family members while you’re drinking coffee. Scones also go great with various types of tea.
Some people choose to buy them from the store or from bakeries, but you can also make your own if you want to.
If you just got done baking some scones for the first time and they turned out dry, you’re probably disappointed and scratching your head. Scones aren’t really meant to be incredibly dry, but they aren’t meant to be as moist as biscuits either.
Something went wrong during the baking process that caused this to happen, and in this article, we’ll dive into the possibilities.
1 – Kneading the Dough Too Much
One of the biggest problems that can cause scones to turn out dry involves kneading the dough more than you’re supposed to. People who are new to making pastries will sometimes make the mistake of assuming that kneading the dough more is going to be a good thing.
Kneading the dough a lot is going to cause the protein bonds of the dough to become stronger. It might make the scones turn out a bit dry and dense.
You won’t likely enjoy scones that are chewy and a bit dry. This means you need to be careful when kneading the dough.
Once you’ve added the wet ingredients, it’s going to be best to keep the kneading to a minimum. In fact, many scone aficionados suggest simply turning the dough over a bit with a spatula and then calling it good.
If you’re using an electric mixer, you’ll want to be careful. It’s very easy to go overboard when mixing the dough, and you’ll likely need to pay close attention due to how powerful most electric mixers are.
2 – Not Adding the Butter at the Right Time
Failing to add the butter at the right time could be an issue as well. The gluten is going to form barriers that will impact how the scones will turn out if you don’t do things just right.
When you look at scone recipes, they’re generally going to tell you to add the butter to the flour first. If you don’t pay attention and do things in the wrong order, you won’t get the expected results.
Always try to add ingredients to the mix at the times that you’re supposed to. The butter needs to be added to the flour first, and then you need to follow the next steps of the recipe in order.
You can’t just plop all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and call it good. There is a specific sequence of events that needs to play out properly or you’ll wind up with less than stellar scones.
Adding too much butter is going to make them turn out wrong, too. It won’t make them dry, but it’ll make it so that they won’t be recognizable as scones.
Scones are a different type of pastry, and they aren’t supposed to taste or feel like cookies. When you add way more butter to the recipe than you’re supposed to, they’re going to have cookie-like qualities.
3 – Other Ingredient Problems
There are other problems that can occur when you don’t get the mix of ingredients right. For example, you’re going to need to use the right amount of milk or things will turn out very dry.
Milk is used to help bring the scone dough together properly. You need to use enough so that the dough doesn’t crumble.
Ideally, you want to use enough milk so that the dough is a bit sticky and wet. This will ensure that it has the flexibility that is necessary to rise properly.
Rising will only be possible when you use baking soda or baking powder. It helps to puff the scones up, and you want to use the exact amount that is called for in the recipe that you’re using.
Using too much or too little will completely throw things off. If your recipe calls for baking soda, it’s likely that you’ll need to use buttermilk instead of standard milk.
Baking soda needs acid that it can react to. Otherwise, it’s not going to be able to do what it needs to do.
It’s also worth noting that you should remember to add a bit of sugar. This helps the scones to brown in the oven.
Remember to follow the recipe to the letter so that you get things right. Don’t leave out ingredients or else the scones might turn out poorly.
It’s also necessary to measure the ingredients out properly. You should take the time to level ingredients off so that you aren’t adding too much or too little of something.
Do your best to avoid distractions when you’re making the dough, too. Sometimes people get distracted by their phones or by having conversations with people in their houses.
You can easily make mistakes if you aren’t paying attention to what you should be doing. It’s imperative to do your best to get the ingredients right or you won’t be able to count on having the scones turn out the right way.
Making scones isn’t necessarily that hard, but it’s still pretty easy to make mistakes. Many new bakers will make them and wind up having them turn out dry.
Dry scones are very unsatisfying overall, and you’ll want to try to keep yours from turning out this way. The best thing to do is to try to pay close attention to the ingredients that you’re using.
It’s also important to get the measurements correct. Take the time to measure things out meticulously so that you won’t be as likely to have any issues.
When you’re kneading the dough, it’s going to be best to avoid doing it too much. You want to mix it up just as much as you need to.
If you’re using an electric mixer, it’s going to be very important to not go overboard. It’s easy to mix scones too much, and they’ll turn out dense and dry when you do this.
Remember to add the ingredients in the right order, too. Follow the recipe and add the butter to the flour first.
So long as you’re paying attention to the things that you need to do, you’re likely to get good results when making scones. Even if they turned out dry last time, you’ll be able to turn things around by utilizing the tips above.
Once you’ve gotten used to making them perfectly, you’ll likely want to invite some friends over. Enjoy your tasty homemade scones by inviting some of your closest friends and family over for coffee sometime soon.
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.