Years ago, I had a recipe for scones that were a bit dense, a little crumbly and stood up really well to mix-ins. I lost the recipe, of course, and all my searches for a replacement have yielded light, soft…biscuits. It seems that the biscuit type is preferred, but does anyone else prefer the sturdier type? Any hints from those who do?

just knead it longer – you’ll develop the gluten more and create a sturdier dough.

And/or sub bread flour for some of your AP flour, or use White Whole Wheat flour.

Funny, I wonder if the old recipe was really that different, or if I just didn’t know what I was doing back then and man-handled the dough:-) I’ll try both suggestions, thanks!

Deanna, I believe a lot of the British type scones are denser and sturdier than “American” type scones. Maybe go with one of those, and then I agree, over handle your dough and/or try using some bread flour.

I agree. Try a British cream scone recipe. Many years ago I used to buy a raisin scone from a local coffee shop that was like a rock. It sounds awful but if you like hard crunchy stuff it was wonderful. It took a long time to eat it which is good for me since I tend to eat too fast!

I actually think it’s the opposite - British scones lean more towards the light biscuit type than American scones (which is why a lot of recipes yield the biscuit types - they’re considered more authentic!) American scones are more of the “coffee shop” type - sturdier, sweeter and with more flavors/mix -ins.

There’s a cafe near my house that makes amazing scones in this style, and I always look forward to the combinations - strawberry rose, blackberry orange blossom, or my favorite, the lavender honey. The pastry chef published the recipes for one of the variations - curry pineapple (better than it sounds) - here: It might be worthwhile reverse engineering to come up with the base recipe?

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Thanks for that link. My brother has found a similar sounding place in D.C. and is always raving about their scone flavor combos. I’m going to pass this bakery onto him when he’s home for Christmas to go try a few.

As for the British vs. American scones, I think it depends on the recipes. I think it’s one of those things where what we find on the internet labeled as “British” or “American” style can range so widely… I honestly have never eaten scones in the UK so I’m not sure how they are “typically” made. But I have noticed when trying certain recipes, the UK scones are harder and dryer, kind of like Jpan99 said, almost like a dense little rock, but not in an unpleasant way. Versus American scones like you might get at Starbucks (yes, I’m taking it there) that are very tender inside.

I think ultimately it will be a difference of what goes into the scones. The scone recipe I personally prefer and can make with my eyes closed is the one from ATK/Smitten Kitchen: Dreamy Cream Scones A lot of other 'hounds were fond of these on the baking threads. They are quite light and airy if handled according to the recipe. Very tender. I assume this is not what the OP wants.

Here’s a thread discussing what I think the OP wants:

With a recipe from an Australian woman with good reviews about a sturdy dense scone. Mind you, I haven’t tried it, but I have noticed scone recipes I’ve made with regular milk vs. heavy cream are denser and more compact-crumbed. I’m not a baking “science” person, but I assume the lack of fat creates a sturdier dough:

Mum’s Simple Economy Scones

-2 cups self raising flour (250g)
-1/4 tsp salt
-30 g unsalted butter
-250 ml milk (8.5 oz or about 1 cup )

1 Preheat your oven to 250C (482F)

2 Sift flour and salt in a bowl.

3 Rub in the butter with your fingertips, until it resembles breadcrumbs.

4 Make a well, and add almost all of the milk.

5 (Reserve about a tbs) With a butter knife, quickly work in the milk to the flour, making a dough.

6 On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough very lightly.

7 Flatten gently with your hands to 1.5cm (0.6 inch) thick

8 Use a round cutter to cut out discs.

9 On a buttered tray place scones next to each other.

10 Brush with reserved milk.

11 Bake for 10 minutes, or until scones sound hollow when tapped.

12 Serve with tea, whipped cream and strawberry jam and you have Devonshire tea.

13 Or add herbs/grated cheese for savoury scones to serve with soups and casseroles.

Yield: 12 scone

I tried the Mum’s scones and worked the dough, but they were like tough biscuits, not crumbly. The dough was really wet, so maybe that’s part of the problem. I notice that the curry pineapple scone recipe specifically says the dough should be on the drier side. I’m looking forward to trying that one when I have cream. It has eggs too, I wonder what that does to the texture. For now, the Mum’s recipe is a good one to experiment with on the flour/liquid ratio since, as the name implies, it’s cheap to make. Thanks to all!

This is my go-to basic scone. I like currants myself, but it works just as well plain or with chocolate chips, dried cranberries, or whatever you care to mix in. Sometimes I sprinkle coarse sugar on top, sometimes not.

Cream Scones
makes 8

2 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 c. cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 c. currants
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. heavy cream
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbs. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in the currants. Beat together egg, vanilla, and cream. Make a well in the center of the flour and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the liquids to form moist clumps. Do not overmix.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently about 10 seconds. Pat dough into a 7-inch circle,1-inch thick. Cut circle into 8 wedges and transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet. Mix together glaze ingredients and brush tops of scones.
Bake 15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and transfer to racks to cool.

I recently made the apple scones from KA, and they got rave reviews.