It had been very warm for the past few days. Thankfully, it rained this morning and the air is so much cooler now. I felt the need for a warm buttermilk scone and a cup of coffee to enjoy a lovely, cool Saturday afternoon like this. However, there won’t be any scone for me.
Because hubby is away in Amsterdam for a week, I am staying over at my parents’ place till hubby returns. Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t bake. So, there is no oven in this house. No oven. No baking. No buttermilk scones. Sad.
Speaking of scones, I don’t really eat them often. However, among all the scones I have tasted so far, my favourite ones are from the Smokehouse Hotel & Restaurant in Cameron Highlands. Served with cream and jam, their scones have a buttery flavour rich enough for my taste. The texture of their scones is flaky yet moist. Savouring those scones in a colourful garden of an English-style cottage, sipping a cup of hot English tea, and breathing in the freshness of highland air – isn’t that one of the best moments in life? 😀 (I am an easily satisfied person, you see.)
I am really glad that I found this buttermilk scone recipe from the Internet. I don’t know if it is the best scone recipe, but I think I can keep to this recipe for use in the future. I made a batch of it two weeks ago, and I was very delighted to see that my scones raised well and had that characteristic crack at the center around the edge. I had tried another recipe and method from my pastry school, but the scones didn’t turn out the way I like (although they were tasty, too).
Making scones is super easy. Simple recipe ingredients, simple steps. You may choose to use a pastry blender or a food processor to ‘cut’ the butter into the flour to achieve a breadcrumb-like or sand-like texture. A standing mixer (using a paddle attachment) can also do the job. I choose to use my fingers, hehe, to save myself the trouble of cleaning up the mixer bowl and attachment. 😛
Note that the butter should be cold, and should be cut into small pieces before added to the flour. Using cold butter and mixing it with flour using this rubbing in method is the key to create the flaky layers in the scones. This article explains a bit on using butter and dry ingredients (e.g. flour).
Self-raising flour 225g, plus a little extra for dusting
Salt A pinch
Butter, cold 75g
Castor sugar 40g
Dried cranberries 20 g (that’s all I had in the fridge that day)
Large egg, at room temperature 1
Buttermilk 2 Tbsp, plus a little extra for brushing
1. Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees celcius.
2. Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
3. Add cold butter (already cut into pieces) and use pastry blender to cut the butter in the flour, or use fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
4. Add sugar and dried cranberries (and/or other dried fruits/nuts of choice e.g. raisins, chopped almonds). Mix well.
5. Beat the egg and buttermilk together in a cup or bowl, and add into the dry mixture. Mix the dough with a spreading knife or spatula (again, I used hand). If the dough is a bit dry, can add another tablespoon of buttermilk. I found mine rather sticky, but manageable.
6. Form the dough into a round ball, and place it on a lightly floured surface.
7. Pat the dough into a circle of at least 1 inch thick.
8. Cut out the scones using a 2.5 inch (or 2 inch, or bigger as you wish) round or fluted cookie cutter. (Note: When cutting the dough, place the cutter on the dough and give it a sharp tap, lift up the cutter straight up, and push the dough out. DO NOT twist the cutter, or else it will not rise.)
9. Gather the trimmings together, repeat Step 6 to 8 until the dough is finished.
10. Place scones on parchment paper in a baking sheet. Brush the surface lightly with buttermilk and dust with a little flour.
11. Bake for ~12 min or until golden brown on top.
(Original recipe and method from Craft Passion.)
From the recipe and using a 2.5 inch round cutter, I made seven scones with different heights, haha! As you can see, the scone will rise to a nicer height if its dough is 1-inch high. The taller ones look more attractive, don’t they?
Some people may insist to have their scones with clotted cream and jam, but I’m contented with just a warm scone and butter. <3