Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Buttermilk Scones

Makes 12 triangular or 24 rolled scones

Think of scones as British biscuits. They are made in a manner similar to biscuits and, in fact, share biscuits' buttery-layered texture, but their name, their shape, and the fact that they're served with tea rather than gravy lift them to the level of fancier fare.
Here are scones two ways: the traditional triangle and the rolled--tender buttermilk dough rolled around chopped fruits, nuts, and/or jam. Whichever way you choose, they're luscious: à la the British, with tea and whipped cream, or served the American way, with coffee and a gloss of jam.

These scones had a very thin crisp outer crust and a soft, flaky and moist bread/cake like inner crumb. Rolled scones were a nice idea as they already had jam filled in and no other accompanyment was required. These scones can be served as a great snack along with coffee or tea.

This post is my contribution to Egg Substitute - Yogurt/Buttermilk Event , an event hosted by Madhuram of Eggless Cooking.

Recipe adapted from "Baking with Julia" by Dorie Greenspan.

Ingredients required:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar (i added plus 1/4 cup)
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup (approximately) buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated orange or lemon zest

1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
1/4 cup sugar, for dusting

4 tablespoons jam or jelly and/or 4 tablespoons diced or small plump dried fruits, such as currants, raisins, apricots, or figs, for filling (optional)

Here we start..

Position the oven racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425 deg F (220 deg C).

Mixing and Kneading:
In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a fork. Add the cold butter pieces and, using your fingertips (the first choice), a pastry blender, or two knives, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. It's OK if some largish pieces of butter remain--they'll add to the scones' flakiness
Pour in 1 cup buttermilk, toss in the zest, and mix with the fork only until the ingredients are just moistened--you'll have a soft dough with a rough look. (If the dough looks dry, add another tablespoon of buttermilk.) Gather the dough into a ball, pressing it gently so that it holds together, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it very briefly--a dozen turns should do it. Cut the dough in half.

To make triangular shaped scones:
Roll one piece of the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick circle that is about 7 inches across. Brush the dough with half of the melted butter, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and cut the circle into 6 triangles. Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and set aside while you roll out the rest of the dough.

To make rolled scones:
Roll one piece of dough into a strip that is 12 inches long and 1/2-inch-thick (the piece will not be very wide). Spread the strip with half of the melted butter and dust with half of the sugar. If you want to spread the roll with jam and/or sprinkle it with dried fruits, now's the time to do so; leave a narrow border on a long edge bare. Roll the strip up from a long side like a jelly roll; pinch the seam closed and turn the roll seam side down. Cut the roll in half and cut each piece into six 1-inch-wide roll-ups. Place the rolled scones cut side down on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Baking the scones:
Bake the scones for 10 to 12 minutes, until both the tops and bottoms are golden. Transfer the scones to a rack to cool slightly. These are best served warm but are just fine at room temperature.

If you're not going to eat the scones the day they are made, wrap them airtight and freeze; they'll stay fresh for a month. To serve, defrost the scones at room temperature in their wrappers, then unwrap and reheat on a baking sheet for 5 minutes in a 350 degree F oven.


Laurie said...

Hi Ramya,
This is perfect! This morning I woke up with every intention of making scones and headed to find a recipe. What a lovely surprise to have one waiting for me when I woke up! :)I also have plenty of butter milk to use up.. Ciao e buon giorno!

Angie's Recipes said...

I would love to have a cup of hot tea of these scone rolls, esp. with strawberry jam.

Madhuram said...

Wonderful scones Ramya. They do look airy and light. The swirls are calling me! Thank you very much for sending it to the event.

Ricardo said...

They look gorgeous and very well presented..well done :D

Carolyn said...

I love the swirly scones! I've never seen those before. And I love scones.

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Bharti said...

These worked out really well w/o the eg. I like the swirled ones a lot.

Kim Byer said...

This makes my mouth water. YUMMY!

Divya Vikram said...

The scones and the swirls look too good.! It is teatime here!!

AndreaDomingas said...

I would like to thank for the recipe! I did it and they turn out very pretty and delicious!

Ramya Kiran said...

I thank each and every one for leaving me with such lovely comments! I'm glad you all liked it.


ManhattanGirl said...

Hi--I recently saw a re-run of this show and this looks like Marion Cunningham's recipe, not Dorie Greenspan.

Ramya Kiran said...

@ ManhattabGirl, Yes this is a Marion Cunningham's recipe. But from the book "Baking with julia" from Dorie Greenspan.

BigLeagues said...

Loved reading this recipe and intend to try it.

I gotto correct one statement you made . . . the British do not have "whipped cream". The UK enjoys a couple of regional variations for a rich creamy scone spread. Double Devon Cream and Clotted Cream. At least one of these methods involves lots of stirring and time under the SUN to properly set. Both are beyond compare. Cream cheese is fantastic, sour cream can be fun, but Double and Clotted Creams are the ultimate in artery clogging, yet taste & texture indulgent pleasure on the international scone scene!

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