British scones are a lightly sweetened cake-like bread made from wheat flour, eggs, milk, butter, baking powder and sugar. These are single-serving tea-time treats and are said to originate from Scotland, where they are also commonly made with barley or oats. British scones are different to American scones as they’re softer and fluffier than their sweet American counterparts. This is the most delicious brown butter British scones recipe.
For these British scones, I used brown butter. It is simply just butter that has been cooked in a pan until it has turned a deep amber brown colour. The water in the butter is cooked away while the milk solids turn brown. This gives the butter a beautifully rich nutty flavour. To me, it smells like caramel. The brown butter can replace regular butter in any scone recipe, but remember to measure the butter after you have cooked it, as the volume decreases. You can use a sieve to remove the brown bits, but I leave them in for a more intense flavour.
When mixing the softened butter and the dry ingredients together, the mixture should have a soft and sandy texture without any hard pieces of butter (the pieces in the photo below are not butter). You can do this in a food processor or by hand. When adding the rest of the wet ingredients, stir with a spatula until it is only roughly combined. Overmixing the dough will ruin the texture and height of the scones.
It is also important to limit the amount of flour you dust the surface of your counter with, as this could make the scones drier. The dough should still be sticky. Similarly to overmixing the dough, over-kneading the dough could result in tougher scones that will not rise as high as they should. This will be evident when you have to roll the dough out a second and third time after cutting inch-thick circles. It is best to use a sharp cookie cutter, as twisting it when cutting the dough could result in oddly-shaped scones.
These brown butter British scones are extremely light and fluffy, and the brown butter gives them a unique rich flavour. It is definitely one of my new favourite recipes. My favourite fillings include butter, jam and whipped cream, although I have enjoyed it with cheese a few times before. Traditionally, clotted cream is used instead of whipped cream, but I have never attempted to make it before. These scones aren’t excessively dry, but they are best served alongside a cup of tea.
This recipe was adapted from Fifteen Spatulas.