Always sift flour and any other dry ingredients. Sifting flour, aerates it and results in lighter end products. It also ensures the dry ingredients are evenly mixed. If you are using wholemeal flour, tip the husks back into the bowl. The moisture content of flour can vary a great deal between brands, and even between different packets of the same brands, so be careful when adding liquid.
Are quick to prepare and bake. Always combine liquid ingredients and beat lightly with a fork or whisk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the liquid. The mixture should be stirred gently with wooden or metal spoon until just combined, but still a little lumpy. (12-15 strokes). Over-beating makes tough muffins. The cooking time will vary with the size of the muffins. Test by inserting a skewer into the centre. Gently loosen the muffins from the tin after a few minutes. Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.
Read through the recipe. Weigh and measure all ingredients, carefully. Assemble everything before you start. Preheat the oven, prepare baking sheets or tins as specified in the recipe.
Making great scones gets easier with practice. Always add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix the dough as briefly and lightly as possible. For soft scones, wrap in a cloth towel while still hot. For scones with a crisp top, cool on a wire rack. Scones can be frozen in the freezer for up to 3 months.