Freshly baked scones are a powerful persuasive tool. Especially when served with homemade strawberry jam and/or lemon curd. My favorite recipe is adapted from Tartine, by Elisabeth M Prueitt and Chad Robertson, owners, bakers and founders of the bakery and cafe of the same name. I found their recipe to be close to perfect with one exception – the published recipe says it makes 12 scones, and contains 4-3/4 cups of flour. If you’ve baked much, you’ll know that that’s a lot of flour for 12 servings….scones that mean business. Maybe these were scones that were sized to share, but I don’t want to share my scone. I want you to have your own scone.
The Buttermilk Scone recipe below is the Tartine recipe halved (approximately), but still made into 12 scones. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the size of the resulting scones, but if you are, double the recipe and you’re back to square one.
- 1/2 C Currants – combine with warm water to cover in a small bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes until the currants are plumped. Drain well.
- 2-1/3 C All-Purpose Flour
- 1-1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1/4 C White Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 C (1 stick) Cold Unsalted Butter – Cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 3/4 C Buttermilk
- 1 tsp. Lemon Zest, grated on a Microplane
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter Melted
Large Crystal Sugar (I use Turbinado sugar) or granulated sugar for sprinkling
Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt and stir. Scatter the cubes of butter over the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender, large fork, or mixer to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. You want to end up with a coarse mixture with pea sized lumps of butter visible.
Add the buttermilk all at once along with the lemon zest and currants and mix gently with a wooden spoon. Mix just until the dough is holding together slightly. If the mixture seems dry, add a little more buttermilk. You will want to see butter pieces at this point still. They are important to add to the flakiness of the scones.
I then dump the whole mixture straight onto a Silpat lined cookie sheet and pat and knead slightly just so the raggedy edges are incorporated. Do not overwork. Pat the dough into a couple of rounds about 1-1/2 inches thick.Cu
Cut the rounds into 6 triangle wedges each and space them out on the sheet. Brush the tops with the melted butter and then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake the scones in a 400 F oven until the tops are lightly browned, approximately 25-35 minutes. Serve as soon as possible.