Buttery & FlakeyJump to Recipe
Scones are wonderful. They’re one of my favourite additions to brunch or a cup of tea, and they have a subtle classiness to them that I love. There’s something about the flaky, buttery scone that can really perfect those quite moments of contemplation over a warm drink. Too romantic? I guess I get carried away sometimes, but let’s be honest, they’re awesome!
For a long time I’d never had a scone, and once I tried one I found them kind of meh tasting. Unfortunately for foods like scones that have a long history, mass production hasn’t done them any favours. Most scones that you find in run of the mill grocery stores are dry and bland. But any good bakery knows at least one trick to making them devine.
Not Quite Traditional
So, strictly speaking in the traditional sense, scones were quite simple and usually weren’t buttery like the recipe I’m sharing here. If you were fancy scones would have been served with butter and jam. And sometimes very fancy folks served them with clotted cream (a slightly less whipped, not sweetened whipped cream). But in general they were simply an afternoon snack with your tea. Originally from Scotland and classically fried on a stone over the fire, the scone has come a very long way. And they’ve changed a lot from their oat cake related ancestor.
Scones in North America took on different forms and mutated into other tasty things like biscuits in the south, for example. All through the cultures that enjoy them, they can be sweet or savoury, and can have a multitude of fillings. So this recipe is a perfect base recipe and can have other fillings added to it. I will likely share a lot more scone recipes as I love them!
A Tip About Butter
This recipe has a beautiful flaky texture from folded layers of butter. So it is essential to keep your butter cold and try your best not to handle the dough too much. The scones come out looking nobbly and rustic, but with the perfect texture. A good trick to getting those layers is pre shaping your butter pieces.
Start by slicing the butter into rectangles or squares that are a few cm across and about a half cm thick. Toss them into your dry ingredients, and while lightly coating them in flour, gently flatten them with your fingers. They’ll become much wider, a bunch of different shapes and nice and thin. It’s okay if some of them break. That way you have given the butter a head start in flattening into layers, meaning you don’t need to touch the dough as much.
Simple Butter Scones
- 5 1/3 cups All Purpose Flour Plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Orange Juice
- 1/8 cup 35% Cream
- Zest of 2 Oranges
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 1/3 lb Salted Butter Cold
- Heat your oven to 375F.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
- In another bowl or large measuring cup, combine the brown sugar, eggs, orange juice, cream, zest, and vanilla. Whisk until fully combined and smooth.
- Slice your butter into rectangles or squares about 2 cm across and 1/2cm thick and add to the bowl of dry ingredients. Gently coat each piece in flour. Then pick up and flatten each piece of butter with your fingers. You want them to be quite flat, larger and lots of different shapes and sizes. Toss them throughout the flour, trying not to get them too warm or break them up too much.
- Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients. Starting at the sides of the bowl, using your hands (Not a spoon or utensil) Begin folding the mix together. It will be very ragged, but resist the urge to mush everything together. Just keep folding and pressing until it sort of holds together. There should still be visible dryer spots.
- Turn the dough pile out onto a floured counter and shape it into a dough rectangle that’s about 3-4cm tall. Slice the rectangle into 12 pieces. Arrange the scones on a lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of each scone with extra 35% cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. They should still be a bit soft when you press on them.