Buttermilk Scones by Sam Stern
The best Buttermilk Scones Ever! From Sam Stern’s book “Virgin to Veteran – How to Get Cooking With Confidence”
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
50g soft butter
50g caster sugar
150ml buttermilk, plus extra for brushing
granulated sugar, for finishing
Utensils & EquipmentBaking Tray
Large Mixing Bowl
Drink RecommendationsTastes great with Tea.
Makes 8 Scones
Using buttermilk in your scones raises their game – team them with jam and clotted cream for a classic cream tea.
Use a wine glass if you don’t have a cutter. Re-flour the cutter every time for a cleaner cut and a better rise.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Grease a baking tray. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter. Rub it into the flour between your fingers and thumbs, lifting the mix high over the bowl as you do so, until it looks like fine sand. Keep it light (over-handling scones makes them heavy). Add the sugar and two-thirds of the buttermilk. Mix with a fork. Add more buttermilk until you have a soft (not wet) dough. Draw it together with your fingers and knead it very lightly for a second until you get a smooth ball.
Sit the dough on a floured board. Pat it out very lightly into a rough circle approximately 2.5cm thick. Cut out the scones using a floured 6.5 cm cutter, pressing down sharply without twisting. Lift the scones out cleanly and place on a tray. Re-roll the scraps and repeat, re-flouring the cutter. Brush the scones with extra buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a rack.
Split in two when warm or cold. Serve butter, jam or fruit curd and clotted or whipped double or whipping cream.
ORANGE, LEMON AND SULTANA CUT-AWAY SCONES
Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Grease a large baking tray. Sift 500g self-raising flour, a pinch of baking powder and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Rub 175g butter into the flour, then mix in the grated zest of . a lemon and . orange, 2. tbsp caster sugar and 75g sultanas/ dried fruit, with a fork. Add as much of 2 large beaten eggs as you need to form a soft smooth dough. If too dry, add a splash of milk. Sit on a lightly floured surface, pat out as above and cut into triangular scones with a sharp, floured knife. Sit them on a tray. Brush the tops with a little milk and a sprinkle of sugar. Bake for 10–12 minutes.
MULTI-TOP CHEESE, ONION AND OLIVE SCONES
Fry a finely chopped onion gently in olive oil until golden. Cool. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ Gas 6. Grease 2 baking trays. Sift 225g plain white flour, 2 heaped tbsp baking powder, a pinch of salt, . tsp cayenne and 1 tsp mustard powder into a bowl. Rub 25g butter into the mix with your fingers. Add the onion, a few chopped black olives, 110g grated strong Cheddar cheese and a beaten egg. Mix together with a fork. Add 6 tbsp milk to the mix gradually. Pull the dough into a soft ball, pat out lightly on a lightly floured board until 2.5cm thick and cut out as above. Brush the tops of the scones with a little egg/grated cheddar/pesto or a spreading of mustard, and bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes. These are good warm, split, spread with cream cheese or butter. Make and serve with soup for a good lunch.
Freeze cooked scones on a baking tray for 20 minutes. Seal in freezer bags. Thaw and reheat for 10 minutes at 180°C/Gas 4 for 8–10 minutes. Freeze uncooked scones as above. To cook, thaw as long as it takes the oven to pre-heat. Bake for the regular time plus another minute or two.
Recipe taken from:
Virgin to Veteran: How to Get Cooking with Confidence by Sam Stern
Published by Quadrille Publishing
Photography by Chris Terry