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I used the scone recipe from here, but the scones turned out really hard and dry. What should I have done differently? More butter, more milk. Less cooking time?

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/8163/basic+scones

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For scones and biscuits (southern US meaning), you need a very wet dough to make them soft. It should be almost too wet to shape. Also, use flour with about 7-8% gluten (the type name will be different depending on where you live). –  rumtscho Jul 20 '12 at 14:50
    
I don't mean to be a dick (being petty), but sometimes flour won't quote a gluten percentage. Look for a protein percentage (the protein is what is converted into gluten). –  mrwienerdog Jul 20 '12 at 15:25
    
I don't make scones myself, but 200ºC 20'-25' is a very hot oven for a very long time. Try experimenting. Start with the oven at 150ºC and 20', and prepare one scone. Test the result. Crank the oven up... until you get your desired result. –  BaffledCook Jul 21 '12 at 14:16
    
We use sour cream or cream instead of Milk ever since we tried it when we were out of milk and they were MUCH better. –  Mike B Jul 22 '12 at 16:18
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The proportions on everything look correct (including the milk!) EXCEPT that is a very small amount of butter for 3C flour. There is also no sugar in that recipe--and even a very small amount of sugar will change the texture of the dough. I personally would triple the amount of butter, add 2-3T sugar, and then re-try the recipe. VERY cold butter will also help with a lighter finished baked scone.

As for the comment that the oven time is too hot and long---the temperature is good--but I would think the baking time would fall more in the range of 15-20 minutes, depending upon whether you are baking from frozen dough or freshly made scone dough. A hot oven, as opposed to a moderate oven (350 degrees F--normal for cookies and cakes) is recommended for biscuits and scones. Since all ovens bake differently, rely less on the actual time and more on how the scone looks--it should be lightly golden on top and not doughy in appearance in the center. A cake tester can be used to be certain that the center is fully baked.

good luck--it always seems to take a little effort to find the scone recipe that you think is perfect!!

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That recipe has a very old style problem - it predates modern definitions of "cup". Methinks the cup in your recipe is a small coffee cup.

If you are using 80g (3oz) of butter, that will make a good scone recipe with about 225g (8oz) of flour and about 150ml (5 fl.oz) of milk.

I just weighed a 250mL cup of SR flour, it contained about 155g. The cup in the recipe is a "not quite full" 5oz coffee cup according to my calculations.

There's your trouble ... too much flour and milk. The fact that the adjusted amount of milk needed in proportion to the butter is very close to the customary ratios reinforces the points I have made. Another clue is that the recipe says "makes 16". If you get a lot more than the recipe says, that should ring an alarm bell.

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