Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Scones Spoken Here


If you had visited my home over the weekend, you would have noticed a thick layer of flour dust covering the entire kitchen, a large section of the dining room table and most of the dog.  (She sits at my feet when I cook and I can't make her move.)  The reason for this lapse in housekeeping is that I've been baking scones.  Lots and lots of scones.  My scone-loving mother taught me to appreciate them but she always bought them from a bakery.  I've spent my adult years in search of the perfect scone recipe and, while I've made lots of good ones, I'm always looking for the "perfect" version.

I was excited to see that The New York Times recently ran an article about biscuits and scones and gave what their editors believe is the master recipe.  I got out my flour and butter!  But, I didn't like them.  The taste was flat (lots more salt and sugar needed) and they didn't rise (oven temperature way too low).  I had stuck to the exact recipe but began to make tweaks in rounds two and three.  Still, something was missing.  Their recipe calls for heavy cream and advises against the tang of buttermilk.  But I concluded that it was that exact tang I was missing.  Many batches of scones later, I settled on what I think is the perfect ratio of salt, sugar and lift.  These are plain but they will be my basis going forward for flavored scones.  I'm sure there's a batch of lemon blueberry in my immediate future...and maybe in yours if you come clean my kitchen.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
3 Cups all purpose flour
1/4 Cup sugar
2 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1" pieces
1 Cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons melted butter, for topping
2 Tablespoons sugar, for topping

In a bowl, combine the flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and butter.  Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs.  Add in the buttermilk and stir until a dough ball forms.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and roll out to a 1/2" thickness.  You can make the scones round, square or triangular but I used a 3" round cutter.  Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle on the two tablespoons of sugar.  Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until the tops are a very light golden brown.  Makes 8 scones that are best served fresh with a bit of your favorite preserves.

7 comments:

  1. I would clean the dog for these. :)

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  2. I've never attempted my own scones, but these look amazing! I might just have to try it out ;)

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  3. These scones are beautiful, Anita!!! It seems like you did an amazing job! (and oh man I wish I could see a picture of Hadley all covered in flour! so cute!)

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  4. Okay - I think I am ready to make my first scones and this is going to be the recipe! I have just the marmalade to put on it!

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  5. Love homemade scones and these look fantastic!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

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  6. Like you I love my scones and it took until my recipe to finally develop one that I really loved. However I love cream scones but I'm definitely willing to give yours a try.

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  7. I grew up thinking scones were bread dough fried in oil. ;) I didn't discover until I was married that scones could be anything else. Baked version is much better!! lol

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