I used to work across from a wonderful bakery called Amy’s Bread. Every morning, and I mean every morning my co-worker and I would easily devour one of their decadent scones. It was a love affair doomed from the start. Five pounds later, I had to call it quits.
When Celia announced that it was scone week, I decided to make buttermilk scones in honor of my old flame. This recipe is based on one from, Once Upon a Tart. I call them ‘rustic’ because there’s no rolling involved; you just scoop the dough onto a baking tray. This method yields a light and crumbly scone that’s easy to make. And I should mention- the amount of butter in this recipe would make Paula Deen proud.
- Use pastry flour. Its low protein content makes a light and tender scone. I actually use a combination of all purpose and pastry flour. Make sure not use ‘whole wheat’ pastry flour. It just doesn’t work (I learned that the hard way).
- Use frozen butter. Ice cold butter is essential for a flaky texture. It also prevents the dough from spreading when baked.
- Pulse your ingredients in a food processor. You don’t want any large chunks of butter.
- The crumbs should look slightly moist and sandy, like parmesan cheese.
- In a large bowl, mix the wet and dry ingredients by hand. Over mixed dough = tough scones. You are less likely to over mix if you do it this way.
- Scoop out your dough using a 1/2 cup measure. Place them 2 inches apart on a parchment lined tray. Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes.
Ta dah…golden brown scones. As I mentioned earlier, these are light and crumbly. They are definitely flaky, but if you want a flakiness similar to puff pastry (i.e lots of vertical layers), you will need to roll and cut out your dough. Ahh, the science of baking…
To serve, I top these off with a mixture of whipped cream and creme fraiche, strawberry jam and fresh cherries. Yes, it’s indulgent. Fear not, these scones are perfectly delicious on their own without any of the fuss. Well, maybe a little jam is good…
- 3 c. all purpose flour
- 1 c. pastry flour (not whole wheat)
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. fine salt
- ⅔ c. blond cane sugar
- 20 tbsp. (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, frozen, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 2 large eggs
- 1 c. cold buttermilk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- whipped cream
- creme fraiche
- strawberry jam
- fresh cherries
- Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Cut your butter into ¼-inch cubes and place in the freezer.
- Pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor to combine.
- Add the frozen butter and run for about 15 seconds. Then pulse until there are no large chunks. Your crumbs should look moist and sandy, like parmesan cheese.
- In the largest bowl you can find, go ahead and dump in the crumbs.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla.
- Pour your wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until there is no flour visible. It might seem dry at first but it will all come together. Do not over mix!
- Scoop out the dough onto your parchment lined tray using a ½ cup measure. Space them 2 inches apart.
- Bake in the center of the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. You might have to rotate your tray halfway through cooking if your scones are not browning evenly.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- To serve, combine whipped cream with a dollop of creme fraiche and stir until slightly thick. Top with strawberry jam and fresh cherries.