Belinda Jeffery’s Fluffy (in my dreams) Buttermilk Scones
Celia, from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial has rallied us all. Being the second week in August, it is International Scone Week! That means, it’s time to get baking.
Scones are deceptively easy to make but bloody hard to perfect. Mine are always on the rustic side. But no matter how they look, hot scones (even rustic-looking ones) always taste bloody good.
Last year, I lamented that I was in Bridgetown during International Scone Week without my Belinda Jeffery cookbooks. This year I am in Perth (with Belinda) but without my food processor (which I love nearly as much). Oh, the trials and tribulations of having no fixed address! Therefore, dear readers, these scones were made the old fashioned way – by hand. 😦
This recipe comes from Belinda Jeffery’s fabulous book, Mix & Bake. It is up there as my favourite cookbook.
- 300g self-raising flour
- 320g wholemeal self-raising flour
- 55g caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 160g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 200g chopped dates, sultanas or dried currants, optional (I used sultanas)
- 500mls buttermilk
- milk for brushing
- Preheat your oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Belinda advised to use 2 layers to prevent the bottoms getting too brown, but I never do.
- Put both the flours, the sugar and salt into a large bowl. Whisk until they are thoroughly combined and aerated (about one minute).
- Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Now, if I had not been separated from my food processor, the instructions would have been as follows:
1. Put the flours and salt in the food processor and give it a whizz or two.
2. Add the sugar and give it another whizz.
3. Add the butter and process the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Tip the mixture into a large bowl; and proceed as follows:
- Add the dried fruit and stir it until the fruit is well coated.
- Pour in the buttermilk and stir very lightly.
- Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead gently until it’s just combined.
- Pat the dough out into a 4cm deep round.
- Dip a scone cutter into some flour to stop the dough sticking to it, then cut out the scones (dipping the cutter after cutting each scone).
- Gently knead together the scraps and cut out the balance of the dough.
- Sit the scones closely together on the prepared tray and brush the tops with the milk.
- Bake the scones in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes until they’re golden.