Buttermilk Scones with Three Variations

Time: 40 minutes. These light, fluffy, not-too-sweet scones are especially good with a fragrant cup of jasmine tea. This basic recipe is a great foundation for any flavor of scone you like; we’ve given three suggestions below.

 

Yield: Makes 16
Recipe from Sunset

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • Powdered sugar

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. 2. Beat flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until crumbly and butter is pea-size, about 2 minutes. Add buttermilk and mix just until dough starts to come together, about 20 seconds. Mix just to blend into a shaggy dough, about 10 more seconds. (If you don't have a stand mixer, cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, then stir in buttermilk.)
  3. 3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Form into 2 disks, each about 1 in. thick and still dry-looking in a few spots. Cut each disk into 8 wedges. Put wedges on baking sheets 1 in. apart.
  4. 4. Bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar.
  5. VARIATIONS: 
  6. APRICOT-GINGER
  7. Add 1/3 cup each minced dried apricots and crystallized ginger. You can use any kind of dried apricot, but we especially love California Blenheims for their rich, tangy-sweet flavor (order online from brfarms.com or andysorchard.com).
  8. CHERRY-ALMOND
  9. Add 1/3 cup each dried tart cherries and sliced almonds.
  10. BLUEBERRY-LEMON
  11. Add 3 tbsp. lemon zest to flour mixture and gently mix in 1/3 cup frozen blueberries in step 3, being careful not to mash the fruit. (Frozen berries are better in scones than fresh, because they don’t ooze as much).
  12.  
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