Buttermilk scones

Buttermilk scones

By
From
Desserts
Makes
10

I first came across buttermilk about five years ago, and my chefs from India use it a lot in desserts and breads. It’s the liquid leftover from the churning process of making butter using full-fat milk and has a slightly sour taste. Buttermilk can be used as an alternative to milk when making cakes and in baking in general. Make these scones by hand, rather than using a food processor as this would produce a tougher dough.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
75g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
225g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for rolling out and dusting
pinch salt
40g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons buttermilk, plus a little extra for brushing
clotted cream and jam, for serving

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC. Lightly grease a baking tray.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, rub the butter lightly into the mixture until it looks like breadcrumbs, then add the sugar. Beat the egg and 2 tbsp of the buttermilk together in another bowl, then start to add this to the flour mixture, mixing the dough with a palette knife. When it begins to come together, finish off with your hands – it should be soft but not sticky
  3. When you have formed the dough into a ball, tip it on to a lightly floured surface and roll it into a circle at least 2.5cm thick – be very careful not to roll it any thinner as the secret of well-risen scones is to start off with a thickness of no less than 2.5cm.
  4. Cut out the scones by placing a 5cm plain edge cutter on the dough and giving it a sharp tap – don’t twist it, just lift it up and push the dough out. Carry on until you are left with the trimmings, then bring these back together to roll out again so you can cut out one last scone.
  5. Turn the scones over and place on the baking tray, brush them lightly with buttermilk and dust with a little flour. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 10–12 minutes or until they are well risen and golden brown, then remove them to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Serve with clotted cream and any jam or jelly that takes your fancy.
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