- Heat the oven to 400F.
- Grease and flour a baking sheet.
- Sieve the flour into a roomy baking bowl then add the butter, baking powder and salt. Quickly rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar if using and stir.
- Make a well in the center and using a dinner knife, stir in enough milk to make a soft, pliable dough.
- Turn the mixture on to a floured board and knead very lightly until just smooth then lightly roll out to 3/4" thick.
- Cut 6 - 8 rounds (or as many as your dough will make) with 3" cutter or cut into triangles with a sharp knife.
- Place on the baking tray and brush with the beaten egg and milk mixture. Bake near the top of the hot oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.
- Cool on a wire rack before eating.
Add 1/4 cup currants or raisans or chopped dates to the dry ingredients in the basic recipe.