Buttermilk Scones with Currants

It seems every good bakery now offers scones but among the advantages of baking your own are the warm, buttery aromas that fill up the kitchen, something more difficult to package up and bring home.

This basic recipe is from one of the baking classes I’ve taken at Stone Turtle Baking & Cooking School, in Lyman, Maine. The recipe has been adapted many times over, but making them always reminds me of Michael and Sandy, their welcoming, spacious teaching kitchen, and the wood-fired oven sitting in its corner emanating heat. Their 2-Day Wood-Fired Oven Intensive is especially worth planning ahead for.

I make these scones often enough that I usually keep the pantry stocked with some jars filled with the dry ingredients already pre-measured. Each jar holds a batch’s worth, and comes in handy as the season gets busier and the house full of guests. The original recipe was written with wild Maine blueberries in mind. If you’re lucky enough to find them in season, replace the currants with a cup of them fresh. Baking with cultured butter lends an additional complexity and fullness of flavor, and I try to use it whenever I can.

Buttermilk Scones with Currants

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cut up
1/3 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 scant cup buttermilk (or light cream)
1/3 cup Zante currants

- Heat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Add the buttermilk and currants. Mix until a soft dough forms, avoid overmixing. Lightly knead dough while still in the bowl for a few seconds, about 4 to 6 times.

- Place dough on a lightly floured board, and pat into a long rectangle, roughly 4 x 12 inches. Cut into 10 wedges, and place on an ungreased sheet pan. Brush tops with buttermilk, and sprinkle additional sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn pan and bake for another 5 minutes. Place on a rack to cool before serving.

Recipe adapted from Stone Turtle Baking & Cooking School.

Local ingredients: Whole wheat pastry flour and butter from Brookford Farm; homemade buttermilk with milk from Harris Farm.

Many thanks to YeastSpotting for including my Sourdough English Muffins in their weekly showcase!

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7 Responses to Buttermilk Scones with Currants

  1. Norma Chang says:

    What a great idea to fill jars with a batch worth of the dry ingredients already pre-measured.

  2. Oh, I can just imagine the wonderful aroma as they are cooking…

  3. tomatothymes says:

    They look marvelous. I just might make some for my husband this weekend.
    Lis

  4. Anne says:

    My trick is the freeze the butter and shave it into the batter. It never gets over mixed that way.
    I love scones.

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