The perfect buttermilk scones

As is well documented by this blog I am a fan of sweet treats. Scones are no exceptions to this rule. Occasionally I watch the Vicar of Dibley and I laugh when the Vicar says something about being greedy and it strikes a chord with me. In this case the quote,

Jesus did a lot of things right, didn’t he? I mean men’s bottoms are lovely. But he could have made mouths scone sized

is very like something I would say. I do love a good scone, however I am much a fan of chocolately recipes I never get round to making them very much until I give up chocolate for Lent and my love affair with jam is revived.

In addition to my growing addiction to raspberry conserve and lemon curd I think scones are a wonderful recipe as they are both delicious and economical. I made mine for under £3. Plus you don’t use eggs to make the dough meaning that if you are intent on baking on a tight budget you don’t have to compromise on buying eggs of a lower welfare standard. With jam they would be the perfect teatime treat for any student (plus baking is perfect procrastination!) The only thing remaining is the debate over how to pronounce the word scone.

To make buttermilk scones you will need:

450g self-raising flour (plus extra for dusting)

¼ tsp salt

100g butter

85g caster sugar

284ml buttermilk (1 pot in most supermarkets)

2 tsp vanilla extract

splash of milk

To serve

Butter

Jam

Clotted or whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C in a fan oven). Dice your butter and put the flour, salt and butter into a food processor and pulse until you can’t feel any lumps of butter. If you don’t have a food processor using your fingers to rub together the butter and sugar to form breadcrumbs works just as well.  Pulse or stir in the sugar depending on whether or not you’re doing everything manually or with the aforementioned food processor.

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Gently warm the buttermilk and vanilla (keep the pot, you’ll use it later).

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Using a large bowl, quickly tip in some of the flour mix, followed by some of the buttermilk mix, repeating until everything is in the bowl. Use a knife to mix everything together in the bowl. Stop once the dough has formed. Overmixing will stop the scones from puffing up in the oven.

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Tip onto a floured surface and gently bring together with your hands a couple of times. Pat down carefully to around 4cm thick and cut out circles with a 6cm or 7cm cutter. Gather together any trimmings and reshape until all the dough is used.

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Spread out on a lightly floured baking sheet or two. Add a splash of milk into the buttermilk pot, then use to glaze the top of each scone. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden and well risen. Cool on a wire rack.

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Scones are nicest while still warm from the oven.

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I forget which counties in the South West prefer jam first on scones and which prefer cream first so I did one of each to be diplomatic

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Oh and if you really wanted to know I pronounce scone to rhyme with “On”.

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