Buttermilk Scones


The first time I had a scone was on a plane coming back from my first trip to London. Yes, airplane food. That said, though many years ago, I still remember how buttery and light it was, very different from the typical American scone, which is often quite dense, the size of your foot, and better suited to stopping a door than accenting a light afternoon meal.

This is a good scone recipe, not inclined to give you a lot of trouble. These scones don’t keep well. They’re best fresh out the oven. If there’s one thing on your tea menu to make on the day of your gathering, this would be it, served warm with butter or clotted cream and jam.

Buttermilk Scones (makes approximately 12 scones)

Note: This is not a dough to make in advance and keep in the refrigerator to roll out later. The buttermilk and leavening ingredients will start to work together, and the dough will start to rise and get spongy.

1/2 cup (120ml) golden raisins (optional)
1-1/2 cups (360ml) all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons (7.5ml) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) salt
2 teaspoons (10ml)baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml)baking soda
6 Tbsp. (85g) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
1 egg room temperature beaten with 1 Tbsp. (15ml) water to make egg wash

Softened butter or clotted cream and jam to serve

2-1/2-inch (6cm) biscuit cutter or glass
Baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Preheat oven to 400° F (205° C).

If using raisins, soak them in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain and pat dry with a paper towel.

Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Using a fork, work the butter into the flour mixture.

Toss drained raisins in flour mixture until evenly coated and distributed.

Add the buttermilk and stir to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to 1/2 inch (13mm) thickness. Cut dough with biscuit cutter. Press remaining dough together, roll out and cut more scones. You should get approximately 12 scones.

Place scones on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash.

Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, rotate pan to ensure even browning. Bake until cooked through and golden on top.