A 99-year-old Country Women’s Association granny has shared the secret to the perfect scone.

Great-grandmother Dorothy Collishaw told 7 News her dad shared the secret trick with her after she baked a terrible batch of scones in the 1930s.

“When they came out of the oven they were like bullets!”

“They were that hard.”

“So he said ‘You should’ve stirred them with a knife’, so I said ‘Well you didn’t tell me that!’”

Dorothy said at a CWA fundraiser in Bundaberg.

Experts have backed up Dorothy’s method, agreeing that the “cutting” technique is the best way to keep scones “tender”.

The reason why stirring scones with a knife works so well is because you are cutting butter into the flour to coat or shorten the gluten strands with fat.

According to the experts, including Masterchef judge Matt Preston, the one thing you don’t want to do is ‘overwork’ the dough.

I must give this a try! Did you know that?

This basic scone recipe from Women’s Weekly sounds like the perfect recipe to try.

Basic scone

  • 2 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 60 gram cold butter, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cold milk, plus extra to glaze
  • jam or marmalade, to serve
  • whipped cream, to serve


Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Grease and line a baking tray with baking paper. Sift into a large bowl. Rub in butter to make fine crumbs.

Make a well in centre; add milk. Using a round-bladed knife, cut through mixture until it forms a soft dough, adding 1-2 tablespoons more milk if needed. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly until smooth, then shape into a 2cm-thick round.

Using a 5.5cm cutter dipped into flour, cut round from dough. Place scones side by side on prepared tray. Brush tops with extra milk to glaze. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and well risen. Serve scones with jam and cream.

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