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Learn how to make the perfect scone with this recipe from The Gilbert Scott Book of British Food. Enjoy at afternoon tea for a quintessentially British experience.

From the book


Scone recipes often spark debate. I will say no more than that I think this is one of the best. The trick for success is to avoid overmixing the dough – if you do, the gluten in the flour will develop and the scones will be rubbery and too firm.
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250g self-raising flour
good pinch of salt
25g caster sugar
75g chilled unsalted butter
1 free-range egg, beaten
100ml milk, plus extra for brushing


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Lightly beat together the egg and milk and slowly add to the bowl, stirring just to bring together into a dough, being very careful not to overmix.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 5cm thick. Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into 7cm round or square shapes. Transfer to a baking tray and brush with milk, then bake for 20–25 minutes, until golden. Serve warm.

Devour your scones with your own homemade jam. See our pick of autumn jam recipes here.


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