1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (8 ounces by weight) (don't use self-rising flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder (be sure it's fresh; baking powder loses potency fairly quickly)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 stick (4 oz., 8 tablespoons) good unsalted butter
3/4 cup yogurt (or buttermilk or milk you have soured using the instructions above)
a little extra milk as needed
about 2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ cup dried currants (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400* F.
2. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and put it in a large mixing bowl. Give it a stir with a fork to combine. (Or you could sift it together if you want, but I find mixing it with a fork works just fine.)
3. Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the dry ingredients. Using two knives or a pastry blender like the one pictured at the right, roughly blend it into the flour mixture. The mixture will resemble a very coarse meal. Stir in the currants if you are using them.
4. Add the yogurt and stir rapidly with the fork to combine. Add a little milk, about a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture just comes together to form a soft dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl. (I'm guessing you might use about 2 - 4 tablespoons of milk here, but to be honest, I didn't measure it.)
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and, with floured hands, gather it into a ball. Do not knead it; handle it as gently and as little as possible. Divide the dough into two smaller balls, then pat those out into two disks roughly 3/4 of an inch thick.
6. Place the disks of dough on an ungreased baking sheet. (A non-stick sheet is best; failing that, line the sheet with parchment paper.) Brush the tops of the disks with cream, as I'm doing in the photo. Then, using a knife or bench knife, cut each disk into four or six equal pieces. (The number depends on the size scones you like. I personally prefer making eight scones from this recipe, but this morning I made 12, because Sue was bringing them to a meeting where there were about nine people.) Separate the pieces to allow heat to circulate between them. Sprinkle the tops with a little sugar, if you like.
7. Place the sheet into the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the scones are well-risen and browned on the top. Serve fresh from the oven.