Scones can be flavored with the addition of dried fruits, nuts, herbs and spices. The basic scone recipe below makes a mildly sweet, vanilla-scented scone, the perfect blank canvas for your favorite additions.
General Tips for Top-Notch Scones
- Make sure the butter, eggs, and milk (or other dairy) are cold. Like pie crust and biscuits, scones rely on cold fat for their flakiness.
- Work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse sand with some larger, pea-sized chunks. The smaller particles of butter will tenderize, while the larger will create flaky texture.
- Eggs add richness, and enhance your scones' rise. If your recipe doesn't already call for egg, and you want to add one, simply substitute 1 egg for an equal volume of the milk or cream in the recipe.
- Beware of juicy add-ins, like raspberries or chopped strawberries; they can make scones soggy.
- Once you add liquid, stir the dough only enough to combine; don't over-mix, or your scones will be tough.
- For soft-sided scones, bake very close together; or bake in large rounds, then cut once they're out of the oven.
- Freezing the pan of scones for 30 minutes before baking this relaxes the flour's gluten (encouraging tenderness), and chills the fat (enhancing flaky texture). Good Tip!
- Bake scones until they're barely done; their interior will be fully baked (not doughy), but still moist. An over-baked scone is a dry scone.
- Can you use lower-fat or nonfat dairy (skim milk, low-fat yogurt) as your liquid? Yes, but the scones will be dry and hard. The higher their fat content, the more tender the scones.
The scones are made with Soft White Wheat, (pastry flour) it's lower in gluten than hard flours (bread flour). The general rule is soft wheat is a better choice for anything that you will not be using yeast as the leavening agent. This recipe you can add various dried fruits and spices to change the flavor of the scone. Make no mistake they are also excellent just plain, sprinkled with course sugar.
Scale...Once you have one you will wonder how you baked without it.
Food Processor ... Not required but makes the job easier.
# 12 Muffin Scoop ....Use for muffins, biscuits, scones and pancakes.
Baking Sheet: I use a half sheet baking pan with a silpat. It works well because it keeps the bottoms of the scones from over browning.
Oven: 425 degrees
Bake: 15 minutes
Pan: Sheet Pan
Yields: 12 scones
3 c. Soft White Flour (pastry flour) 360 g
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 c. sugar (73 g)
1 c. butter (2 sticks) cold and diced (226 g)
1 c. buttermilk (245 g)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T butter (28 g)
2 T. sugar (25 g)
- In the food processor mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda. I always sift the baking powder and soda in a small sieve, just to make sure there are no lumps. Pulse a few times to get all the dry ingredients mixed.
- Cut the butter up into pieces and add half to the to the food processor until the mixture has a fine texture. Add the other half of the butter and pulse leaving the butter in pea size pieces.
- Measure or weigh out the buttermilk and then add the vanilla.
- Dump the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a depression in the middle so you can add the buttermilk.
- Stir until everything just comes together to make a stiff dough.
- I added dry blueberries but you could add any type of dried fruits or nuts if you like at this time.
- Put the dough into the freezer or refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer to relax the gluten which will make a more tender scone.
- Pre-Heat oven to 425 degrees
- Use your #12 scoop or 1/3 of a cup, to scoop out the scones onto the silpat. It will make 12 level scoops.
- Topping: Melt the 2 Tablespoons butter for the topping and brush the scones. Then sprinkle with sugar, to add some sparkle
- Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees
- Remove from oven and let them sit for 5 minutes on the pan then remove to finish cooling. These freeze well, so stash some away for later.