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I decided to make scones for the first time and picked a high rated recipefrom allrecipes.com.

It instructed me to combine the ingredients like a pastry dough (cold butter cut into the dry ingredients, crumble, then add the wet ingredients). Then:

Turn onto a floured surface; knead gently 8-10 times. Divide into four portions. On ungreased baking sheets, pat dough into 4-in. circles. Cut each into four wedges, but do not separate.

I followed the recipe to the letter, using a scale. But the dough emerged extremely sticky. Kneading was impossible. Forming into circles too: I spread it with a knife, but couldn't get it in any way into a regular shape. It stuck to everything, including a silicone rolling mat and a silicone spatula. The best description I can manage for the consistency is Nutella-like.

Is this normal? If yes, why the "knead" instruction? If not, what went wrong?

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Maybe it wasn't anything with the recipe or even anything you did... it might have been too humid where you were -- when it's really humid, the water will absorb water from the air. baking in Virginia definitely poses problems from time to time for me :P –  user11562 Sep 15 '12 at 15:28
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It should be reasonably dense, firm and only a little sticky on the outside - a bit like modelling clay. You should be able to knead it easily and cut shapes out of it without too much trouble.

The absorptive potential of flour varies by brand and even batch, so recipes involving it always require a little improvisation - in this case it sounds like you need a bit more.

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Agree, something is wrong. It should sticky enough to need a little flour when rolling out, but it sounds like you've got something much stickier on your hands. Presumably either the recipe is bad or you made some mistake in your measurements. –  Michael at Herbivoracious May 30 '11 at 2:05
    
@Michael at Herbivoracious, I don't think the recipe was bad - it had 26 reviews, and over 20 of them gave 5 stars - if it was a bad recipe, somebody else would have noticed it before me. –  rumtscho Jun 1 '11 at 10:40
    
I certainly would have needed much more. I must have added at least 2 heaped tbsp while "kneading", that's over 20%. There isn't that much difference in flour. I must have made a mistake somewhere, thanks for clearing it up. The "modelling clay" comparison helps a lot. –  rumtscho Jun 1 '11 at 10:42
    
Can happen - I regularly add an extra ounce of flour to the 5oz stated in my pizza dough recipe. –  ElendilTheTall Jun 1 '11 at 12:24
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This is debatable. I work at cafes and the one I was recently at their mixture was extremely sticky. They're very yum though so I think it depends if you want rich and cheesy scone or a dry one (the ones old people eat in England, kidding). I think we have adapted here in NZ.

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It should be sticky, but more viscous than Nutella so that it holds a shape. Add a bit more flour to the recipe, or just roll a bit more flour on when you dump it onto the floured surface.

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