Forget those crunchy triangles you find at Starbucks. The Victorian scones of Tolkien’s day were far more like southern style American biscuits.
Like American biscuits, these are best served hot and buttered. Unlike their modern counterparts, they’re served at teatime, around 4 p.m., with clotted cream or home made raspberry jam.
The creamy interior bears little resemblance to the brick-like pastries masquerading under their name in coffee shops. You can throw together a batch in about half an hour. Try some for yourself and see if you don’t prefer your scones Shire-style.
Hot Buttered Shire Scones
2.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup cold butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 ½ tbsp sugar
Thoroughly mix the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar, and salt.
Add the butter. Use your fingers to work it into the flour in order to create a crumbly edible gravel. The colder the butter, the better your scones.
Once the butter and flour are deliciously crumbly, moisten them up with the milk.
Mix well, then lightly knead the dough a handful of times. Don’t overwork it.
Spread some flour on a clean work surface. While you’re at it, dust your hands. Use them to press the dough so it’s about 2 inches thick.
Use a round or fluted round cookie cutter to punch out discs of tasty goodness. I like mine about 3 inches across, but use whatever size cutters you own.
Arrange the scones 2 inches apart on a well greased baking sheet. Don’t be shy about the butter. This isn’t health food.
While you’re at it, melt a little extra butter and paint it on top of your scones.
Let the scones rest for about 5 minutes before baking.
Bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are a delicious golden brown.
These are best served piping hot, straight from the oven, with a dab of clotted cream or fresh raspberry jam.
However, if you decide to take some along for an adventure, remember they won’t last more than a day. Make sure to slather the exterior in butter before toasting them for a light breakfast.
Need more Hobbity goodness in your life?
Preview even more recipes from An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery, available now!
Sample recipes from all seven chapters of An Unexpected Cookbook:
Breakfast – Poached Pears Stuffed with Frumenty
Second Breakfast – Beef and Mushroom Stuffed Hand Pies
Elevenses – Shire Seed Cake
Luncheon – Stewed Hare with Root Vegetables and Dumplings
Afternoon Tea – Shortbread
Supper – Stuffed Roasted Mushrooms
Dinner – Boxty on the Griddle with Bacon
Need more? Get your own copy of An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery from Amazon.com.