Lately I have such a hankering to bake! Even though the weather’s warming up I just really enjoy it, I think because even amid all the chaos a day (a week, a month, life) can bring, baking requires weights and measures, plus patience, and for me lends an actual sense of calm! Also, it’s fun to layer new ingredients and combinations on a foundation of general baking knowledge to expand the skill set. And if I’m being honest, I just really love a baked good! For all these reasons I turned to scones late last week. Until stumbling upon this version, every scone recipe I’ve come across has been a turn-off to the category, with colossal quantities of butter and sugar upon sugar. But when I saw this recipe, I knew it’d be up next in the baking rotation.
We went through one test batch in which the scones turned out like deflated muffins – it seems that whereas a muffin recipe may be more forgiving, scones depend on a more particular set of variables. The dough is denser and must be wet but not too wet, and it took the trial round to trust that a thicker, denser dough actually means that you’re heading in the right direction.
I love these because they truly use half the butter I’ve seen in most recipes, and just two tablespoons – or an eighth of a cup – of sugar. They’re a great make-ahead of course and given that the dough must be chilled, this recipe is almost a make-ahead within a make ahead. The dough can be quickly prepped when you have 20 minutes, and then baked and cooled later, for example during dinner prep or clean up.
Make-Ahead Monday: Mixed Berry Scones
Hands-On Time: 20-25 minutes
Special Equipment: Food processor, parchment paper.
- 1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
- Scant 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
- Scant 1/4 Cup Almond Flour
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter, cold & cubed
- 1/4 Milk – (See notes in steps before measuring.)
- Heaping Cup Berries, Fresh or Frozen (I actually like frozen better for these because they seem to hold up to stirring, baking and cutting better.)
- For topping: 1 Egg, Beaten, 1 Tsp Sugar or Maple Sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, gently stir ingredients from buckwheat – salt with a whisk until throughly incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla extract until completely mixed.
- Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients by either pulsing in the food processor or crumbling with your fingers until all the cubes have disappeared and the dough resembles a gravelly surface.
- Add the buttermilk mixture into the flour/butter mixture and blend dough in the food processor until incorporated, about :30 – :45 seconds. Or, using the mixing spoon and rubber spatula as needed, stir flour and buttermilk mixtures together.
- If the dough just isn’t coming together and is crumbly, add in the milk, a little at a time, up to 1/4 of a cup. (Note: I did not need to use milk. Variations in flour measurements will effect the need to use – again add little by little.)
- Once the dough is incorporated, add the berries. By hand seems to be the easiest and best way – simply dump the berries into the bowl and by gently squeezing and squashing the dough around the berries, ‘mix’ them in.
- Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, but up to several hours.
- When the dough is chilled / when ready to bake, Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees F.
- While still in the plastic wrap, begin to shape the dough into a disk in your hands. Place the dough in the plastic on a cutting board. Unfold the plastic from the top but keep it underneath (between the dough and the cutting board.) Using the palm of your hand, continue to shape the dough into a circle. If small pieces disconnect on the edges, use gentle pressure to stick them right back on!
- When the disk is approximately 12-14 inches in diameter, cut it into eight wedges by cutting the circle in half once, then again perpendicular to the first cut and finally cutting each quarter in half. Transfer the pieces onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. They will possibly be fragile where there are large sections of fruit. Take your time with the transfer and reshape as necessary on the baking sheet.
- Brush each wedge with a little of the beaten egg. Then, sprinkle all wedges with the remaining sugar.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Cool scones on a wire rack 10-15 minutes.
Have a great week!
Note: A version of this recipe first appeared on www.londonbakes.com