How to bake perfect scones | Features | Jamie Oliver (2024)

By June 5, 2017 In Baking, How to, Store cupboard

How to bake perfect scones | Features | Jamie Oliver (1)

Dish up the perfect afternoon treat with a batch of flawless scones and a cup of tea. Blissfully simple to make, good scones are all about mastering these essential principles – and then you’re guaranteed light and crumbly scones! Best enjoyed warm from the oven.


  1. First and foremost, brilliant scones are about having the confidence to do as little as possible. The less you knead the mix, the less the gluten will tighten up – which means your scones will stay loose and crumbly, rather than tight and springy.
  2. Make sure you sieve the flour and baking powder into your bowl. This means that the two will be well mixed together, which gives you a better chance of an even rise.
  3. Keep the butter in the fridge right until you need it. Because you will be rubbing in the butter with the flour (or blitzing in a food processor), you don’t want it to be too warm and turn into a mush!
  4. Don’t add too much flour to the surface when you roll out your dough. It’s easy to forget that flour on your work surface still adds to the dough, which can make the scones heavier.
  5. Once you’ve cut out your scone shapes, flip them over and place upside down on the baking tray. This will help them rise evenly, and counteract any ‘squashing’ that happened when you cut out the dough.

How to bake perfect scones | Features | Jamie Oliver (2)

Watch Jamie making the perfect scones here:


Add a handful of cheese to your recipe and serve with chutney and slices of apple.

The gooey cranberry jam makes these scones reminiscent of a classic Jammy Dodger biscuit!

The addition of mixed dried fruit is gorgeous, whatever the time of year.

How to bake perfect scones | Features | Jamie Oliver (2024)


What is the trick in making good scones? ›

Rather than mixing the ingredients together, use a technique called “cutting”. Use a flat-bladed knife or a palette knife and cut it (or pull it) through your ingredients when you add the wet ingredients so they are just barely incorporated. Don't overwork the dough.

What is the best oven setting for scones? ›

Bake scones in a 425°F oven for 18 to 23 minutes, until they're a very light golden brown. Don't over-bake; dark scones will be dry. Break one open to check for doneness: the interior shouldn't appear doughy or wet, but should feel nicely moist.

How do you stop your scones from drying out when baking? ›

Don't overbake! If you bake scones too long, they'll dry out, so keep an eye on them through the oven window. (Don't open the oven to look — it'll let out the heat.) “Bake your scones until they are just golden brown,” Bethany recommends.

What is the main reason for resting scones before baking? ›

The explanation is simple: As with other doughs, including pizza dough, resting lets scone dough's gluten relax completely, so that it doesn't snap back during shaping or baking. Does this mean that from now on we'll always rest our scone dough? Not necessarily.

What is the secret to making scones rise? ›

Once you've cut out your scone shapes, flip them over and place upside down on the baking tray. This will help them rise evenly and counteract any 'squashing' that happened when you cut out the dough. Perfect scones should rise to about 2 inches high.

What not to do when making scones? ›

Overworking the dough: when you overwork your dough, your scones can come out tough and chewy, rather than that desired light, crumbly texture. The trick is to use light pressure and only the work the dough until it just comes together.

How long should you rest scones before baking? ›

You want to avoid twisting until the cutter reaches the work surface, if you twist as you cut it can lock up the sides and prevent the scones from rising evenly. Place the scones, smooth side up onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Cover the scones with clingfilm and rest for an hour before baking.

What type of flour is best for scones? ›

We recommend using all-purpose flour. There is some debate as to what flour one should use to go around achieving the perfect scone. This is because within different flours comes different levels of protein.

What temperature is best for cooking scones? ›

Method. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the self-raising flour into a large bowl with ¼ tsp salt and the baking powder, then mix. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs.

How thick should scone dough be? ›

It is far better that the scone mixture is on the wet side, sticking to your fingers, as the scones will rise better. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten it out with your hand, or use a rolling pin, to a thickness of 1-2 cm (1/2 – ¾ inch).

How to tell when scones are done? ›

Scones with fruit and wheat-free scones may take longer than others Increase baking times in 3 minute increments to test. Higher elevation will need less cooking time. To check if they are ready, press down on the top to check if firm to touch, they are READY. If it indents down, bake for another 3-5 min.

Why do my scones go flat in the oven? ›

Placing a dough in a cool oven that then slowly heats up actually affects the rising agent. Make sure your oven is at the right temperature you will be baking the scones at before you put them in. Also having an oven that is too hot or too cold will affect the baking of your scones immensely.

Why is it important to have a hot oven when baking scones? ›

Scones and biscuits both need a hot, quick bake. The high, quick heat is needed to turn that butter into nice steamy air pockets without leaving pools of butter on the cookie sheet.

Should scones be baked touching? ›

Scones like to cosy up to one another in the baking tray. This helps them to rise evenly in the cooking process. When placing the scones in the baking tray they need to be touching.

Why do you put eggs in scones? ›

Scones can be made either with self-raising flour or with plain flour and baking powder. Sweet scones and cheese scones have an egg added to enrich them. Both will rise but whatever scone you make its important that they are handled lightly and not rolled too thinly.

What makes a good quality scone? ›

In my view, the perfect scone should have puffy height and be light and flaky. The internal crumb should exhibit qualities of a light-colored moist, soft, tender texture. The scone should not be wet or doughy nor should it be hard and/or dry, with a chippy or chibbly texture.

Should you chill scone dough before baking? ›

Keep scone dough as cold as possible. To avoid over-spreading, I recommend chilling the shaped scones for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator before baking. In fact, you can even refrigerate overnight for a quick breakfast in the morning! Bake until golden brown.

Why aren't my scones light and fluffy? ›

Add some extra baking powder/soda, they might not have raised enough. If your scones barely rise in the oven, reconsider the amount of water you've added. You might want to add more. Otherwise, increase the amount of baking powder/soda.

Why do my scones spread out and not rise? ›

First, make sure you're using fresh baking powder, one that has been opened less than 6 months ago. Also, if you knead the dough too much, the scones won't rise as tall. Knead gently, and just enough to bring the dough together. Adding more flour also prevents the dough from rising as high, so only dust lightly.

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