The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My scones do not rise

k9nan's picture

My scones do not rise

I have baked bread and biscuits and neither rise much.  Now I am trying scones and they will not rise either. 

The taste is good and the texture is good considering no rise.

What am I doing wrong? 

I am at 1200 ft above sea level, I tried making my own baking powder.  I've tried increasing the stuff that makes it rise (yeast, sour dough starter, baking powder) without success. 

Can anyone tell me what I am missing?

Thank you so much - looking forward to puffed up baked goods!!


Yerffej's picture

A recipe with complete details is fairly essential for anyone to be able to offer real informed advice.


Ford's picture

I have not tried my hand at scones, but I am willing to share my recope for biscuits with you.  Make sure you are using fresh baking powder (doubloe acting).  The biscuits do most of their rising in the oven.

[as cut 3/8"x2" diam., 22 g, 72 cal., 1.4 g prot., 3.4 g fat, 8.7 g carb.]
1 cup (4.3 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2  tspn. salt
1 tspn. double acting baking powder
1/2  tspn. baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1/4  cup (1.8 oz.) Earth Balance Shortening*
1/2 cup (3 oz.) buttermilk
    *Note: Butter, margarine, and “spreads” all contain water, as much as 15 to 30%, or even more.  Consider this, if you substitute these for shortening.  Earth Balance Shortening contains no “trans-fats” and makes the best biscuits, in my opinion.  This shortening must be refrigerated and note the container has only 15 oz, not a full 16 oz.  Not all groceries carry it, but Whole Foods does.  Crisco shortening now has no trans-fats, does not need to be refrigerated, and may be substituted for Earth Balance.

    Preheat oven to 450°F.  Sift together the dry ingredients.  (Baking soda tends to have clumps.)  Then add the shortening in teaspoon size bits.  With the fingers of one hand, mix the shortening with the dry ingredients, then mash and rub the shortening with the dry ingredients to form thin flakes of shortening covered with flour.
    Add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients and lightly stir the ingredients; dough should be slightly sticky.  Add more buttermilk, if necessary.  Place on a floured surface and sprinkle dough lightly with flour.  Flatten the dough with a floured hand to about 3/8 to 1/2  inch thickness. (If you use only one hand, the other will be clean for handling other things in the kitchen.)  Fold double four times, flattening after each fold.  Cut with 2 inch diameter biscuit cutter, straight down and do not twist.  Should make about eight biscuits.  Place biscuits on ungreased, or slightly greased, baking sheet or other suitable pan.  King Arthur bakers claim that freezing cut biscuits for a half hour before baking will make them flakier.  (It doesn’t hurt them, and I have frozen them for several days with good results.  Ford.)
    Bake until brown, about 12 - 14 minutes.  If you use a forced convection oven reduce the temperature to 400°F and bake 9 to 10 minutes, or until brown.  Serve hot with real butter and honey, preserves, marmalade, etc.


flournwater's picture

Believe it or not, the problem may be with the way you handle the dough rather than the recipe you use.  Assuming you cut your scone/biscuit dough to prepare individual servings, be sure you use a very sharp instrument to perform that task and cut straight down (avoid twisting of slicing motions with the cutting edge).

1200 feet of elevation shouldn't seriously affect the rise capability of your baking.  I'm at 2000 feet and I use sea level baking practices without noticable affect of any kind.  Water boils at about 208 degrees here, probably about 209 degrees at 1200 feet.  That minimal difference doesn't need to be included in most baking/cooking calculations.

It might be helpful for you to test your baking powder (and soda) for freshness though.

Baking soda/powder at half life can be noticably ineffective in baking.

maurdel's picture

I think the acid used makes a big difference in baking powder and soda products.

If it calls for buttermilk, use a good quality one, sometimes I add lemon juice to a recipe for extra acid, sometimes a pinch of vitamin C  aka Ascorbic Acid.

Same if you make your own baking powder mix, the acid is significant. Usually one uses Cream of Tartar , or Tartaric Acid.

And as flournwater said re: soda & powder, the freshness is important.