How are scones and rock buns different

Not all scones are created equal! You should know (and try) these 3 variants

Who invented it?

"Sorry, but are these really scones?" With a red head, I asked the waitress in 'Lühmanns Teestube' for advice. "Yeah sure - traditionally English scones." Did she just say English scones? I always thought that scones came from America. Is that the answer to the scones riddle?

Bingo! There are both English and American scones. They differ not only in their shape and consistency, but also in the way they are prepared. The small biscuits actually have their origins in Great Britain, in Scotland to be precise. The first time the term scone was used was in 1513 - in a cookbook by Sheila MacNiven. Here scone does not mean a tea biscuit, but "Bannock" - a bread broken into pieces without yeast (similar to the American banana bread).

Unlike today, the first scones were made only from water and oats, without any leavening agents. Baked on a vibrating sieve, they looked much more like a round disc than a pastry. It was only over the years that baking powder was added to the yeast-water mixture and baked in the oven to make airy rolls - just as we know them today.

British scones: the original at teatime

Tea anyone? Yes, the British love their cream tea. Earl gray, milk and scones are ready at 4 p.m. punctually. Unlike tea bread and tea cake, scones are not made with yeast but with baking powder. They resemble small, crustless buns and are loose, airy, light. Fat and sugar are not added to the dough (only in moderation), but in the form of clotted cream and strawberry jam on top. Also accepted: cream and strawberry jam. An absolute no-go: butter. To the recipe

Clotted cream

Without clotted cream? Without me! If British scones are used, then only coated with clotted cream. What is it, clotted cream? Actually, clotted cream is nothing more than a kind of thick cream made from raw cow's milk. With a fat content of at least 55%, it tastes similar to the Italian double-cream cream cheese mascarpone. Traditionally, clotted cream is made in Cornwall and can only then be called that.
Where can you buy clotted cream? In UK shops, cafes or on the internet. If you don't have any clotted cream on hand, simply use the crème double. Or how the British handle it - on cream.

You can make yourself from very fat organic cream You can also easily prepare clotted cream at home. To do this, put 400 g of fresh cream in a large, flat casserole dish and heat it in the oven at 70 ° C for about 8 hours. A thick layer then forms on top, which becomes a skin. Then cover with cling film and let cool down for 12 hours. Then you can lift off the clotted cream with a slotted spoon and put it in jars. You can use the remaining liquid like milk, e.g. for your afternoon tea.

American scones: More of everything

“Are those supposed to be scones? Are you sure?". Unlike me, my colleagues only seem to know the British, not the American scones. “Don't they have to be a little fluffier, maybe even a little softer?” - No, they don't have to! American scones are neither soft nor fluffy, but a little crumbly - just like a real pastry. Strictly speaking, American scones are nothing more than pepped up biscuits - a little more fat, a little more sugar and above all a little more chocolate, apricots, blueberries, walnuts, almonds, oat flakes, ... To the recipe

Biscuits: As flaky as puff pastry

So what are these biscuits now? In America biscuits are traditionally eaten with 'fried chicken' and 'coleslaw'. The small particles are less sweet and therefore go well with savory meals. But they are also enjoyed with maple syrup or honey for breakfast. The special thing about it - its leafy shape. If you break biscuits apart, they are reminiscent of you in the broadest sense puff pastry. Besides the ice-cold butter, its secret is also its special folding technique. The dough is rolled out into a rectangle, divided into three pieces, stacked on top of each other, rolled out again and shaped into scones. This is the only way for the small crispies to pop up. To the recipe

In 5 steps to perfect scones and biscuits

The ingredients for scones and biscuits hardly differ. In addition to flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter, English scones have a dash of milk, American scones have a cream and egg mixture and biscuits contain buttermilk. So how can it be that scones and biscuits are so different from each other? The secret can therefore not necessarily lie in the ingredients, but in their temperature and processing technology.

The butter: as little as possible, as much as necessary

English scones are baked with soft butter, American scones and biscuits are baked with cold butter. For a particularly crumbly result, the Cut the butter into small pieces and place in the freezer half an hour before baking. The following applies to all three: only knead the butter into the flour with your fingertips until a dough is just formed. With American scones and biscuits, you should still see a few flakes of butter.

The following applies to all three: as little as possible, as much as necessary.

Milk, cream and egg or buttermilk?

Once you have kneaded the butter with the dry ingredients, add the liquid ingredients. With English scones, cream is stirred into the batter, with biscuits, buttermilk - not with a spoon, but with a fork. And only so long until the ingredients just combine with each other. It's similar with American scones. Whisk the egg and cream together and stir into the dry ingredients with a fork. The same applies here: Just stir until the ingredients just combine.

Depending on the scone or sponge cake, milk, buttermilk or cream and egg are added to the batter.

The folding technique: biscuits have to be rolled

Before you can cut out your biscuits, you have to subject them to a special folding technique. Roll out the dough to a size of 15 × 23 cm and divide into three pieces. Lay pieces of dough on top of each other and roll out again into a rectangle.

It is the special folding technique that makes the biscuits so flaky.

The shape: circle vs. triangle

English scones and biscuits look out like little circles. Cut out the dough with a glass or a dessert ring and place the scones and biscuits on the baking sheet. If you want, you can now coat your scones with an egg yolk and milk glaze. American scones may not look that nice, but the look is deceptive. Shape the dough into a disc and cut into six or eight pieces of cake. The scones don't stick together? That's right! This is a sign that you haven't kneaded your dough over.

English scones and biscuits are cut into circles, American scones are cut into triangles.

The baking time: quick number

British scones and biscuits only take about 10 minutes in the oven. They are a little smaller and keep their elegant paleness. American scones take twice as long and can come out of the oven with a crispy crust.

Biscuits and English scones are particularly quick to bake. American scones take 20 minutes in the oven.

Scones or biscuits? My test result!

Admittedly - my test did not take place under fair conditions. Biscuits were completely unknown to me, I first came into contact with English scones and I declared my love for American scones a few years ago. Has my judgment changed after this test?

American scones are and will remain my number one. I like its crispy crust, its crumbly interior and its delicate sweetness. But most of all, I like the many variations that American scones offer me. The combination of apricots, white chocolate and pecans - my all time favorite.

Close behind: biscuits. The small pastries are so crumbly and flaky that they practically melt on your tongue. Although they remind me of puff pastry, they don't need to be kneaded or toured for hours. Quite a crucial argument.

Third place: British scones. My first impression hasn't changed. The crustless rolls are too lame for me and somehow taste like nothing (sorry, dear British). Yes, they actually taste pretty good with clotted cream and strawberry jam - but I prefer to smear the latter on my American scones, with cream cheese of course ...

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Four favorite American scone recipes