Sunday, March 23, 2008

buttermilk scones by whisks

after making pumpkin scones yesterday, i though i'd give buttermilk scones a go. these scones are very good - the best i have ever had. i have always wanted to make scones, but have resisted because there is always talk of one having to have a light touch with them and i guess i didn't want to know what type of touch i had. i'm very glad that i've bitten the bullet and now know i can whip up a batch of scones with the best of them. i actually think that things like scones should actually be tackled with gay abandon - homemade ones should surely beat bought ones any day. so go ahead and be brave - give them a go and surprise yourself, because if i can do it, you can do it too!

2 cups self-raising flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
80g butter
100g sultanas (or dates, cranberries, dried sour cherries, chocolate chips)
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk soured with 1 teaspoon vinegar)

preheat oven to 200 degrees C and line a 20 cm square cake tin with some baking paper.

mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar and salt), then rub in the butter with your fingertips till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. i very often use my hand held mixer and room temperature butter to do this step - it's fast, and i don't end up with messy hands.

add the dried fruit and toss to coat the fruit with the buttery flour.

make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, then pour in the buttermilk and quickly stir together until you get a sticky dough. sift a little flour onto the kitchen bench and tip the dough onto the flour. sift a little flour over the top of the dough and press the dough lightly to about 4-5cm in depth. dip a 5cm round cutter into some flour and cut out the scones, placing them closely together in the prepared cake tin.

bake for 20 minutes, or until the scones are golden and sound hollow when lightly tapped on the top.

remove the tray from the oven and place a clean tea towel snugly on top of the scones for 5 minutes before serving with some homemade strawberry jam and freshly whipped cream!

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