Your Scones Will Taste Better If You Follow This Simple Tip

The world of breakfast pastries is extensive, encompassing flaky croissants, fluffy muffins, and gooey cinnamon rolls — not to mention savory options, such as egg-cheese biscuits and sausage-stuffed hand pies (via Spicy Southern Kitchen). But there's one classic breakfast pastry that seems to be almost universally beloved, especially in the UK, and that's the scone.

Said to have originated in Scotland in the early 1500s, scones were originally made with an oat-based dough, patted out into large discs, and then griddled over an open fire (via Freshways). Today, of course, the pastry has been refined into a butter-based treat that's baked in the oven and often features mix-ins, such as blueberries, chocolate chips, and dried fruit (via Sally's Baking Recipes). Regardless of the flavor, the hallmark of a good scone is its tenderness and flakiness — and there's one step you're going to want to take with your ingredients to ensure that outcome.

Use cold butter in your scones

The secret to creating flaky, tender scones is using cold ingredients, according to The Kitchn. This is especially important when it comes to the butter you'll use, as explained by HeraldNet. The chunks of cold butter will melt once they hit the oven, producing steam and eventually puffing up the scone. Once cooled, those pockets translate to flaky layers, just like those desired in a good biscuit — recipes for which also employ cold butter (via Land O' Lakes). In fact, many scone recipes, including our own, call for actually freezing the butter, grating it, and gently working the dough together in order to keep the butter as cold as possible.

The Kitchn advises going even further in your pursuit of cold ingredients by using cold eggs and cream, as well. The chilled ingredients will help keep the butter cold before the scones go into the oven and get their opportunity to steam and puff. Some scone recipes, including one from Sally's Baking Recipes, even recommends mixing, shaping, and cutting the scones, then placing them on a baking sheet and chilling them for at least 15 minutes before baking. So there you have it, to ensure a flaky and tender outcome keep your scone ingredients as cold as possible as you prepare the dough.