Cinnamon & Raisin Soda Scones [Recipe]
There are few things as welcoming as the smell of freshly baked bread when you walk into a home. It’s so effective at putting people at ease and making them feel at home that estate agents actually recommend you bake bread when showing your home to potential buyers. Throw a pinch of cinnamon into the mix and you have a smell so warming and soothing it’s almost like a hug when you walk in the door.
I don’t bake sweet treats all that often as neither Arūnas nor I have much of a sweet tooth. If I do make a batch of muffins (perhaps because I’m overrun with zucchini, like I am at the moment!), I usually end up freezing half the batch so they don’t get wasted. The result of this treat frugality is that if I have unexpected guests I have nothing homemade to serve them with their coffee.
This is where these scones come into their own. They can be into the oven in less than 15 minutes and baked within another 15. They use pantry staple ingredients and very basic equipment. And because they have no added sugar – just a sweetness from the raisins – they go equally well with jam and cream or with a selection of cheeses and sliced meats.
These scones are so quick, easy and versatile they are definitely worth having in your cooking arsenal. Try them once as a practice run and you’ll be able to throw them in the oven in minutes the next time you have an unexpected guest. (But I suspect you’ll be making them just for yourself. Easy on the cream, now!)
Cinnamon & Raisin Soda Scones
450 g | 1 lb plain flour (all-purpose flour), plus more for dusting
1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1 tsp cinnamon
100 g | 3.5 oz raisins (or dried fruit of similar size, such as cranberries)
400 mls | 13.5 fl oz sour milk or buttermilk*, plus about 2 Tbsp for brushing
*If you don’t have sour milk or buttermilk to hand, just use plain full-fat milk and add 2 Tbsp of lemon juice.
- Preheat the oven to 230° C | 445° F.
- Take two 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 inch) baking sheets and dust generously with flour. The scone mixture is quite wet so a good layer of flour is required to ensure the scones don’t stick to the tray during baking.
- Place the flour, baking soda, cinnamon & raisins in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine ingredients and distribute the raisins.
- Add the milk (and lemon juice, if using) to the bowl and stir well to combine, ensuring there are no dry patches. The mixture will be quite wet and sticky – this is fine.
- Flour a work surface with plenty of flour and turn out the scone mixture. Dust the top of the mixture generously with flour so your hands don’t stick to it as you work. Quickly form the dough into a ball but do not knead the dough as you do not want to incorporate the dusting flour into the dough.
- Flatten the dough ball to about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thickness. Place a small pile of flour on your work surface and dip a 7 cm (3 inch) cookie cutter into the flour before cutting out each scone. This helps ensure the dough does not stick to the cutter and will result in a more even outline to your scones.
- Cut as many scones as possible from the dough, working as close as you can to the edges. Bring the scraps together into a new ball, taking care not to over-work the dough. Repeat the process of flattening and cutting the scones until no dough remains. (I push the last small ball of dough down into the cutter from above to create one final scone!)
- Place the scones on the baking sheets leaving a small space between them to allow for expansion during cooking. Brush the scones with milk using a pastry brush or your fingertips, being gentle so as not to squash the scones.
- Turn the oven down to 200° C | 390° F and put the two sheets of scones into the oven. The initial blast of heat helps to set the scones into shape and to activate the raising agent.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the scones are golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer immediately from the baking sheets to a wire tray. Allow the scones to cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.
- Serve the scones with jam and sour cream, with sharp cheeses such as cheddar or Monterey Jack or simply spread thickly with pure country butter. Utterly delicious!