Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
225 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
225 g wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
25 g sesame seeds, plus extra for sprinkling (optional)
25 g butter, diced
400 ml buttermilk or soured milk (add 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice to 400ml cow’s milk or soy or rice milk and leave to stand for 10–15 minutes)
1 tblsp black treacle
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). Dust a baking sheet with flour.
Put the wholemeal, plain flour and salt into a large bowl. Sift in the bicarbonate of soda and stir in the sesame seeds. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the buttermilk or soured milk, then stir in the treacle and pour most of the liquid into the dry ingredients. Using one hand with your fingers held out like a claw, mix in full circles to bring the flour and liquid together, adding more liquid if necessary. The dough should be quite soft, but not too sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently bring it together into a ball, but without kneading it, then flatten it slightly to about 3cm (1¼in) high. Cut the dough into 10–12 square or round scones. If you like, you can brush the tops of the scones with any leftover liquid and sprinkle with some extra sesame seeds.
Put the scones onto the prepared baking sheet and pop in the oven to bake for 15–20 minutes (depending on the size of the scones). Have a look at them after 10 minutes: if they’re already a deep golden brown, then turn the heat down to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6, for the remainder of the cooking time. When cooked they should sound hollow when tapped on the base.