Cutting vs. Rubbing in butter

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Cutting vs. Rubbing in butter

Your plain scone recipe calls for "rubbing" the butter into the flour. Is this the same as "cutting" the butter into the flour with a handheld pastry blender?
The idea seems the same (coat the butter with flour?) but I had previously attempted to make some rock buns by cutting in butter, although the recipe said to rub it in. They turned out to be more of a cookie texture than a rock bun.
What went wrong?

Lindsey, Food Editor

Cutting Vs Rubbing In

Hello hong,

I think a pastry blender can be useful if the fat is hard but as our scone recipe has very little butter it will rub in with you fingers really quickly and even quicker if you use spreadable butter.

Rock cakes are soft, crumbly and buttery on the inside and crisper on the outside so they are not that unlike a fresh baked cookie.

I don’t think your pastry blender could have caused any problems. We like to rub in by hand but you can do it in a processor, which is like an electric version of your blender. As long as the mixture looks crumbly like breadcrumbs you can use either method.

When we make pastry we cut it in with a knife first before we start to rub in which helps keep everything light. So your hand blender is probably helping to achieve the same results.

Best wishes



Re: Cutting vs. Rubbing in butter

Thanks, Lindsey, for the tip! I tried the rubbing in with fingers but my fingers are kind of stiff and it got rather tiring when making larger batches. I'll try it with a pastry blender next time!

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