Easy buttermilk scones are the perfect weekend breakfast or an afternoon treat with friends, serve with a cup of tea and a pot of homemade jam.
Buttermilk scones are a favourite bake of mine. I am by no means a fancy baker, but I do really enjoy baking and do it regularly. What I am best known for amongst my family and friends are these great tasting scones.
Scones are simple to make, provided you follow a few basic guidelines. This recipe for scones made with buttermilk is fails-safe and it turns out great tasting, light and airy scone, time after time.
It is almost always a scone that I opt for when out for coffee with friends. However, I have eaten some bad ones over the years: too dense; too dry; too crumbly; loaded with baking powder to make them rise (the latter being the worst as it sets your teeth on edge)!
This simple scone recipe will avoid any problems with badly baked scones and can be easily adapted to add any flavour combination that you choose. They make great tasting fruit scones with buttermilk too.
How do I ensure a light scone?
I make a good scone, however, I have friends who say that they struggle to bake a decent scone. Some complain about the lack of rise, others saying they are tough and too dense.
The trick to any scone is to remember that scone dough needs a light hand. With all scones it is essential not to overwork the dough! Most of the problems people tell me about when they are baking scones are the result of too heavy a hand and overworking the dough.
How to make Buttermilk Scones – recipe steps:
- Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Add chilled butter, rub together gently until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
- Do not press the mixture together.
- Beat eggs with the buttermilk, add to the dry mixture and combine using a round knife.
- Then use your hands to gently bring the dough together into a ball.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to around 3cm thickness using a well floured rolling pin.
- If you don’t have a rolling pin, pressing gently with the back of your hand will suffice.
- Using a 6cm round cutter stamp out your scones and place them on a greased and floured baking sheet.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the scones with the remnants of the buttermilk mixture left in the measuring jug to give a golden top to the scones.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C/200CFan for 16-18 minutes or until the scones have turned golden on top.
- Once baked, remove the scones from the oven and pop them onto a wire tray to cool a little.
How to serve scones?
Scones are at their absolute best served warm, straight from the oven. In my case with a nice hot cup of tea or coffee. Here are some topping suggestions for your scones:
- clotted cream; whipped cream or whipped double cream
- any flavour of jam or jelly:
- any flavour of curd: lemon; blackcurrant
What to do with leftover scones?
I’ll be entirely honest, I very rarely have any scones leftover after baking a batch. Although best served warm, straight from the oven, leftover scones can be kept in an airtight container and warmed up gently in the oven for the next day or so.
Scones also freeze really well! Once baked simply allow to cool completely on the wire rack before placing in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, defrost and warm up in the oven before serving.
5 Top tips for baking a light scone:
A good scone should have a good rise and a light and open texture. We do not add baking powder to this basic scone dough, instead we following these 5 simple steps:
- Bring the dough very gently together with your hands, take care not to be too heavy handed, try to use your fingers rather than the palm of your hand.
- Once combined into a rough ball, place on a very well floured surface. If using a rolling pin add a generous amount of flour to that too. You don’t want the dough sticking to either the board or your rolling pin.
- Gently roll the dough to around 2.5cm – 3cm in depth before cutting and placing onto the baking sheet and baking in the oven.
- Scones should have a light, open fluffy texture once baked, overworked dough will not rise, you will be left with flat, hard scones. The less you work the dough the better the rise and the fluffier the scone.
- Cut the first round of scones then gently bring the leftover dough together again before cutting more scones to use up the dough.
Other flavour combinations for scones?
I use this basic buttermilk scone recipe as a base for all my other scone recipes. Get creative with the flavours, here are some suggestions:
- dried fruits: sultanas; raisins; apricot; cranberry
- fresh fruits: apple; pumpkin (puree); lemon; blueberry; strawberry
- chocolate chips: dark, milk or white
- cheese: cheddar; comte; gruyere; blue
- fresh or dried herbs: chives; thyme; wild garlic; lavender; oregano; parsley
This is by no means an complete list, get creative and add any flavour you like using the scone as a base. When it comes to savoury scones, cut out the sugar entirely.
Worth pointing out that if you do decide to add additional flavours to your scones this will affect the overall rise of the scone.
Our buttermilk scones contain no baking powder as the eggs do all the hard work. However, if adding flavours add a teaspoon of baking powder to the dough so that the scones will still rise with the heavier ingredients.
You will also need to adjust the amount of liquid. For example apple is a wet fruit so you need to add a little less buttermilk and egg into the dough.
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Additional recipe suggestions:
Love scones then why not try some of these great tasting recipes:
- Savoury Cheese Scones
- Pumpkin Scones
- Apple & Cinnamon Scones
- Scottish Pancakes (also know as Drop Scones)
If you enjoyed this bake have a look at our Ultimate Guide to Baking with Kids, full of great recipe suggestions for baking with children.
- 500 g self raising flour
- 100 g caster sugar
- pinch salt
- 100 g unsalted butter (chilled from fridge and diced)
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- 200 ml buttermilk
- In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the chilled butter and rub together gently through your fingers until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Do not press the mixture together.
- Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and add to the dry mixture and mix using a round knife. Use your hands to gently bring the dough together into a ball. (Take care not to over-work the dough as this will only result in dense, heavy scones. The lighter the handling the lighter the scone).
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to around 3cm using a floured rolling pin. (If you don’t have a rolling pin pressing gently with the back of your hand will suffice). Using a 6cm round cutter stamp out your scones and place them on a greased and floured baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the scones with the remnants of the buttermilk mixture left in the measuring jug to give a golden top to the scones.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C/200CFan for 16-18 minutes or until the scones have turned golden on top. Remove from the oven and serve.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •Share on Facebook