I'm very much in the pro-scone camp, although I realize not everyone is. Some folks find scones too dry or just not all that intriguing. I find them wonderfully crumbly, buttery, and a blank canvas to add any fruits, nuts and spices I'm excited about at any one time. But I've also made my fair share of lackluster scones. You know the kind: flat, squat, even tough? Well there's one very simple way to avoid ever baking up a batch of those again.
The secret: let them rest. That's right, like many baked goods, scones contain gluten and if you let the dough rest before working with it, the gluten has a chance to relax completely, which will lead to flakier scones (and pie crusts, especially). Cook's Illustrated discusses this tip and the brief science behind it in their September/October 2012 issue. So before you shape your scones or work with the dough at all, rest it overnight and you'll be pleasantly surprised by more symmetrical, taller scones with well-defined edges.
A Few Scone Recipes From Our Archives:
• Banana Bread Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze
• Strawberry Sour Cream Scones with Brown Sugar Crumble
• Oat and Maple Scones
Related: Recipe: Real Irish Scones
(Image: Megan Gordon)