I adore the neat, tidy sides and stately height of a classic British scone. I’ve even shared my favorite recipe for that afternoon tea staple, much to the delight of readers who agreed with me.

But I don’t always have the time or, um, free counter space to work butter into the dry ingredients and then roll and cut dainty rounds or even elegant wedges. I wanted a recipe that would help me satisfy my scone craving with less fuss.

It took a compressed viewing of the entire season of the absolutely delightful Netflix series “Nadiya Bakes” with former “Great British Baking Show” winner Nadiya Hussain to get the gears turning. One theme that consistently appears in both shows is the tear-and-share: Breads, buns, wreaths of rolls. The more rustic appearance of items baked into one another is a large part of the appeal — they’re fun to look at, less fussy to make and informal enough that no one’s going to hesitate to dig in. I wondered, could I, ahem, pull it off with scones?

I’ve made a lot of scone recipes over the years, including several others in our archives, so I whipped out my trusty yellow legal pad and started thinking about what I liked about each one and drilling down to how the different ingredient amounts might affect the ultimate outcome.

The tear-and-share approach seemed most achievable with a dough I could scoop and drop onto the sheet pan. What became pretty apparent was that I needed a fairly wet dough that would puff up beautifully. Eventually it came together. A mix of yogurt and milk provides tang and tenderness but not so much moisture to make the dough soupy. Melted butter streamlines the mixing process and also helps the scones spread just the right amount to bake into each other in the way I wanted. An egg adds richness and loft.

The dough includes a restrained amount of sugar, but a little vanilla and some chopped milk chocolate lend a gentle sweetness. (Feel free to swap in your favorite inclusion, such as dark chocolate, nuts or dried fruit, as long as you keep the volume about the same.) A disher makes easy work of portioning the somewhat sticky dough, though measuring cups or even a pair of dinner spoons would also work.

Because I liked the idea of having something around which to build a ring of scones, I decided to throw in a baked berry compote set in the middle of the sheet pan. All it requires is frozen berries, a little sugar and some cornstarch to help it set. (Eliminate the cornstarch if you prefer a looser, more sauce-like consistency for drizzling.) Don’t want to bother with the compote? Just stagger and drop the dough into whatever shape or pattern you want.

In the end, I came out of testing even more excited than when I went into it, which isn’t always the case! (Nothing but raves from all my taste-testers, too.) In truth, the result was more of a mash-up of scones, biscuits and muffins (muffin tops, really) than scones alone, and that’s what makes it particularly enjoyable and unique. I even contemplated a silly portmanteau combining the names — muffsconscuits? bisconffins? — but that seemed like a mouthful, especially when the only mouthful I want you to experience is the one in which you tear off a fluffy bite of this treat and pause to savor it.


Ingredients

For the berry compote

  • Unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Pinch Diamond Crystal kosher salt (may substitute other salt of choice)
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) frozen mixed berries, thawed under running water in the sink and drained/patted dry (may substitute fresh berries)

For the scones

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (may substitute generous 1/4 teaspoon table or sea salt or 1/2 teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt)
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) whole-milk Greek-style yogurt, preferable Fage 5%
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) milk (any percentage)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick/85 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • About 2/3 cup (3 1/2 to 4 ounces/100 to 115 grams) milk chocolate, chopped (see headnote)

Step 1

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet (about 13 by 18 inches) with parchment paper or a silicone mat.


Step 2

Make the berry compote: Lightly grease the outside of a small ovenproof bowl or ramekin (2 cups is more than sufficient) with butter or nonstick cooking spray. In the bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the berries and stir until evenly coated. Place the bowl in the center of the baking sheet.


Step 3

Make the scones: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, egg and vanilla. Gradually add the melted butter, whisking constantly.


Step 4

Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently until mostly combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go. Try not to overwork the dough, otherwise your scones could be tough. Fold in the chopped chocolate, at which point the flour mixture should almost be completely incorporated (a few dry spots are okay).


Step 5

Using a No. 16 disher or 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop and drop the dough into mounds around the compote bowl, spaced about 1/2 inch apart. (Each portion should weigh about 70 grams.) How you arrange the scones depends somewhat on the size of your compote bowl and your preference, but we placed 7 mounds surrounding the bowl (4 1/2 inches in diameter), adding the rest in a second ring around the outside. Position the second scones near gaps in the first circle.


Step 6

Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until the scones are puffed and golden. The compote should look cooked down and thickened, though not as set as jam. Let cool a few minutes (this lets the compote gel a bit more and ensures it doesn’t scald your mouth). Serve warm, letting people tear off scones and scoop the compote at the table.


Nutrition Information

(Per scone, based on 13, using reduced-fat milk and all the compote.)

Calories: 215; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated Fat: 5 g; Cholesterol: 31 mg; Sodium: 186 mg; Carbohydrates: 28 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 11 g; Protein: 4 g.


From Voraciously staff writer Becky Krystal.

Tested by Becky Krystal; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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