From America's Test Kitchen
The oatmeal scones served in a typical coffeehouse are so dry and leaden that they seem like a ploy to get people to buy more coffee to wash them down. We wanted rich toasted oat flavor in a tender, flaky, not-too-sweet scone.
Whole rolled oats and quick oats performed better than instant and steel-cut oats. The rolled oats had a deeper oat flavor, but the quick-cooking oats made scones with a softer texture; either type will work. Toasting the oats brought out their nutty flavor. We used a minimal amount of sugar and baking powder, but plenty of cold butter. A mixture of milk and heavy cream added richness without making the scones too heavy. An egg proved to be the ultimate touch of richness. Cutting the cold butter into the flour, instead of using melted butter, resulted in a lighter texture; we were careful not to overmix the dough, which toughened the scones. A very hot oven made the scones rise spectacularly and also gave them a craggy appearance; the high heat meant less time in the oven and therefore less time to dry out. You won’t need a gallon of coffee to wash down these light, oaty scones.
Makes 8 Scones
This recipe was developed using Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour; best results will be achieved if you use the same or a similar flour, such as Pillsbury unbleached. King Arthur flour has more protein; if you use it, add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons milk. Half-and-half is a suitable substitute for the milk/cream combination.