For Perfectly Flaky Scones, Don't Skip This Crucial Step

With the spring weather approximating the haze and greenery of "The Great British Baking Show," the temptation to make scones grows ever stronger. However, with the rising temperatures comes a hidden trip up for aspiring scone makers. Namely, you might forget to chill your ingredients.

The chilling is so important that The Kitchn effectively lists it twice in their list of five mistakes made when baking scones. First, all of the ingredients should be chilled — from the butter to the eggs to the cream. Starting with chilled butter ensures that it does not begin to melt until it is distributed throughout the flour. Later, once you're reading to bake, the dough should be chilled once again, to keep the butter from melting due to your body heat. Ensuring that the butter remains solid for as long as possible will allow for it to melt during the actual baking process, which produces a flakier biscuit. The second chilling, however, need not be anything too time-consuming. The BBC suggests a 10-minute cooling period to allow the temperature to drop again. The Kitchn advises popping your scone dough into the fridge on a baking sheet while your oven preheats.

Rising temperatures threaten your bakes

The importance of chilling dough has perhaps never been better illustrated than on the set of "Bake Off," where the conditions in the baking tent came sometimes be intensely warm.

Frances Quinn, the winner of the 2013 series, told Cosmopolitan that the possible weather fluctuations within the tent could wreak havoc on your baking in ways completely different from your kitchen at home: "You'd be making a meringue and it would start raining, or we'd try and make pastry and it would be 27 degrees [80.6 degrees Fahrenheit] outside."

That's why people baking scones in the spring or summer should be especially mindful of chilling the ingredients. Covering the trials of the temperatures on "The Great British Baking Show," WIRED noted that butter turns into liquid at 94 F, but it becomes too soft to work with even before that. Cook's Illustrated also says that resting your scone dough in the fridge has another huge benefit: you'll get taller and crispier scones.