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.
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!
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
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.