British Scones

Makes 17 to 20 two-inch scones

4 cups flour, (584 grams) plus more as needed

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (84 grams)

2 tablespoons baking powder (36 grams)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup dried currants (optional)

1 cup whole milk, plus more for brushing

3/4 cup heavy cream

1. Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer. Beat on low speed just to blend. Add the chilled butter; beat on low speed for 4 or 5 minutes, until the mixture starts to look crumbly, with some large chunks. Stop to scrape down the bowl. Add the currants, if using; beat on low speed until evenly distributed. Pour in the milk and heavy cream; beat on low speed for several seconds, just until the liquids are incorporated, to form a soft dough.

2. Lightly flour a work surface. Transfer the dough there and pat it to an even thickness of about 1 inch. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel; let it rest for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

4. Flour the edges of your biscuit cutter, then use it to cut out 17 to 20 scones (straight down, without twisting), arranging them at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet as you work and reflouring the cutter each time. Try to reroll the scraps no more than once, as the subsequent rounds of dough may not rise as much in the oven.

5. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with milk. Bake (middle rack) for about 16 minutes, turning the sheet from front to back halfway through, until lightly golden.

6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving, or cool completely before storing.

- Adapted from Shael Mead, head pastry chef at London's Ham Yard Hotel.

Notes: You'll need a 2-inch biscuit cutter. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can quickly work the butter into the flour mixture by hand or with a pastry blender. The scones are best eaten freshly baked, but the rounds of dough can be refrigerated overnight or individually wrapped (unbaked or baked) in plastic and frozen in a zip-top bag for up to a month or two. Defrost before baking or reheating; for the latter, tent loosely with aluminum foil and warm through in a 350-degree oven.

Per piece (based on 20): 200 calories, 4 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fat, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 10 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber, 5 grams sugar

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