Introduction: Scones: Easier Than Pie

Scones are one of my favorite things to make because they are easy and very, very versatile. They can be sweet or savory, with unlimited variations of additives. Because I like to "bake easy," I make scones in my food processor (FP). You can use a bowl and pastry cutter if you prefer.

Supplies

  • 3 1/2 cups flour (plus some for board)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (3/4 cup for sweet scones)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Step 1: Begin With Dry Ingredients

  • Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
  • Begin by placing 2 cups of the flour into the work bowl of the food processor. I start with 2 cups only because that is all that will fit in my processor and still be workable. (If you use bowl and pastry cutter, you can begin with 3 cups)
  • Add the salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar to the flour.

Pulse the FP to mix dry ingredients.

Step 2: Add the Butter

Put in the cold butter. (straight from the refrigerator is best) I tried it once with frozen butter: it did not go well for my FP. It helps to cut the butter into 1/4 - 1/2 Tablespoon size pieces.

Step 3: Make the Dough

Add the egg and the buttermilk to the flour mixture

This will be a very wet dough. Remember, we have not yet added the last cup and a half of flour.

Turn the dough onto a board with 1/2 cup flour. Gently work the flour into the dough. Add more flour as needed. (This is where you can add any number of other ingredients. There are suggestions for variations at the end)

Work the mixture just enough to make a soft, smooth dough.

Flatten with your hand (no rolling pin needed) to make two discs, each about 8 inches in diameter.

Step 4: Bake

Cut each disc into 8 wedges with a knife or pizza cutter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Step 5: Eat and Enjoy!

Step 6: Variations

Some things you could add to savory scones:

  • Herbs: sage, thyme, rosemary, lemon
  • meat: bacon, pepperoni, ham
  • vegetables: tomatoes, spinach (when adding vegetables squeeze out as much liquid as possible)
  • nuts and seeds

Some things you could add to sweet scones:

  • fresh blueberries
  • chocolate chips
  • dried cherries, dried cranberries, raisins
  • chopped apples with cinnamon
  • A simple glaze of 1 cup confectioner's sugar and 2 Tablespoons mild provide a nice touch on any sweet scones

Step 7: Notes

You may have noticed that I use silicone baking mats. These are wonderful: they are non-stick and easy to clean. If you do not have one, parchment paper works well and a nonstick spray should do in a pinch..

If you do not have or do not like buttermilk, use whatever milk you have and increase the baking powder to 5 teaspoons and eliminate the baking soda.

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