Beautiful Buttermilk Scones
:: Megann’s Kitchen ::
|:: buttermilk scones with home-made strawberry compote ::
I always thought the true test of being a good Australian wife was being able to make scones to perfection... the kind that actually rose high & were light & fluffy, that could win a blue ribbon at the Royal Easter Show. Well, I am not sure if these would win first prize & I don’t know what the CWA would think of my scones, but I have to say after quite a few years of striving toward the perfect scone I just adore the divine flaky texture of the buttermilk variety. I found this recipe in Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion & once I tried it, I haven’t looked back. It is simple, easy to follow & has great results every time. Stephie's sister says you should have the scones timed so as your guests are walking up the path to your door you are taking them out of the oven and I tend to agree.
I have to say, along my road to scone perfection my husband has simply loved eating my trials, mishaps & I’ll admit it, darn rock hard scones. I think I have learned over time that the scone itself doesn’t have to be perfect for me to be a good Australian wife, just a happy husband & family. So, have a go at these simple scones as the end result doesn’t really matter, as long as they make you sweetly content as you eat them.
500 grams self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs caster sugar
100 gms chilled butter, chopped
300 ml buttermilk
Extra buttermilk, for brushing
Strawberry jam and whipped cream, to serve
|:: process until fine breadcrumbs ::
Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F). Line one large baking tray with baking paper. In a food processor pulse your flour, baking powder, caster sugar & butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Tip the mixture into a large bowl & make a well in the middle & add the buttermilk. Stir the mixture as best you can. Tip the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface & gently knead until it comes together. Don’t worry if you leave a little of dry mixture behind. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until 3cm or just over 1 inch thick. Using a 6.5cm round cutter, press out the scones by twisting at the same time & place the scones closely together on the prepared tray. Press any leftover dough together & repeat. Brush the scones with buttermilk for a lovely golden colour & bake for 12-15 minutes.
Makes 10 x-large scones + one for the cook!
|:: press & twisting out my scones from the dough ::
:: By using a “twist” action as you press out your scones, you actually cut the dough instead of pushing them out, so it is easier for them to rise.
:: Another tip is they are ready when they sound hollow when tapped on!
:: If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix the butter & the flour together the way I learned as a young girl at school! Mix the flour, baking powder & sugar in a large bowl. Using your fingertips rub in the butter until no large lumps remain. It doesn’t have to be perfect, then continue with adding the buttermilk. Always, always run your hands under cold water to have chilled hands as to not melt the butter when using this method.
:: Don’t keep your scones for longer than 2 days, & if you have to reheat them, I warm them in the oven on about 150°C.
:: For slightly smaller scones, use a 5.5cm or 6cm cutter, this will also yield more.
|:: brushing with buttermilk ::
Style: As scones are an old world tradition in Australia, pay homage to the woman of yesteryear & keep some vintage cutlery for special guests & afternoon teas. I guarantee that a lovely bone butterknife or intricate teaspoon will also be a conversation starter!
|:: buttermilk scones ready to eat- fresh from the oven ::
Serve: I serve my scones warm; broken in half by hand with a side of butter, chantilly cream & home-made strawberry compote. Oh, heaven....
|:: my husband tucking into scones with jam & cream ::
Source: Recipe modified, only slightly, from Stephanie Alexander's the Cook's Companion.
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