Beautifully light and fluffy scones - perfect with a slathering of butter.


  • 450 g (1lb) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 0.5 tsp bread soda (or 1 level kitchen tsp)
  • 75 g (3oz) butter
  • 100 g (3½oz) cheddar cheese, grated
  • 350 ml (12fl oz) buttermilk



  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7. Dust a baking tray with flour.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne and soda into a bowl and mix with your hands.
  3. Rub in the butter, then mix in the grated cheese. Make a well in the centre and add in all the buttermilk (if the buttermilk is quite thick you may need 25ml/1fl oz more). Using your hand outstretched to look like a claw, go around the sides of the bowl to mix the wet and dry ingredients. Stop mixing once it all comes together.
  4. Lightly flour the worktop. Tip the dough out onto it, dust more flour over the top and pat the dough into a piece about 2.5cm (1in) high. Cut into 14 'scones', each about 7.5cm (3in) in diameter. Do be careful not to knead the dough at all, otherwise the scones will be tough and heavy.
  5. Place on the prepared baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6 and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the scones are golden and sounding hollow when tapped on the base.