By Guest Blogger: Caroline Clunk of Surprised by Joy (and a fan of our Phoebe apron)
I have searched far and wide for the perfect scone recipe and this is the closest I’ve come to the dream scone that dances around in my mind. I lived in England for a semester in college and while there, conducted a long and delicious investigation into “proper English scones.” My scone requirements are now very particular – flaky, light, not too sweet. Many scone recipes I’ve tried turn out too dense or heavy. This usually comes from over-mixing the dough or skimping on the butter in an effort to save calories. Well, that just won’t do. Use the whole stick of butter and while you’re mixing the dough, run in place.
These buttermilk scones, adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, are delicious and a wonderful weekend treat. I tend to make them on Sundays and then have them to take to work for breakfast throughout the week. (Note: They tend to turn out best while wearing a Scarlet Threads apron and singing and dancing along to your favorite tunes.)
2 cups flour
3 tbs. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
4oz. or 1 stick cold butter
½ to 2/3 cup buttermilk (the dough should combine well but not be too sticky or too dry)
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup mix-ins (blueberries, currants, chocolate chips etc.)
Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Once combined, cube cold butter and use your hands or a pastry cutter to “rub” the butter into the dry ingredients, until the mixture is grainy. Stir in mix-ins. (If you’re using dried fruit, such as currants or raisins, hydrate them in a small bowl with hot water. Drain before adding.) In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir till the dough is just combined.
Tip dough out onto a floured surface. Knead very lightly until dough fully comes together and form into rectangle or circle, then cut into triangles or squares (8 triangles for average scones, 4 for huge ones).
Egg wash (1 egg beat with a little water) with a pastry brush and sprinkle with sugar if desired.
Bake 375 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm, slathered with your favorite jam, alongside a lovely pot of tea.