Buttermilk Scone Recipe

Fresh Baked Scones

Fresh Baked Buttermilk Scones

My favorite tea room and restaurant is a little place on High Street in Oxford, England, called The Rose. They have the BEST scones I’ve ever tasted. The Rose is practically across the street from the house where I lived while studying abroad at Corpus Christi College at Oxford University, and I would visit any time I had an occasion to celebrate, when I wanted to cozy up with a warm cup of tea, and when I wanted to reward myself for pulling an all-nighter on my weekly 8-page tutorial paper on British colonialism.

There’s just something about tea time that I adore, from the mini desserts and crustless sandwiches to the buttery, rich scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. And then, there’s the actual tea, lumps of sugar and cream. Yum-mee.

Even before I studied abroad in England, I was a scone fanatic. See about me – my dream is to own a tea room and restaurant. In fact, I come from a family that savors English tea time. Whether it’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, someone’s birthday or a bridal shower – we find any and all excuses to serve tea.

I’ve spent many a weekend morning making scones from scratch – cutting the butter into the flour by hand and rolling the dough out in cramped quarters. My husband and I just got a stand mixer, however, which makes the process so much easier!

Though I managed to convince the owners of The Rose to share their heavenly scone recipe with me, I’ve switched to using a recipe from the Julian Tea & Arts Cottage in from Julian, Calif., a quaint little town just east of San Diego known for it’s tasty apple pie. If you go to Julian, visit the cottage and you’ll find a small tea room, a large selection of loose teas, and various tea time accessories for sale. Afterwards, as you walk around town, consider purchasing a jar of apple butter to serve with these delicious, warm scones.

Recipe for Buttermilk Scones (final product pictured above)
by Julian Tea & Cottage Arts

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) ice cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups buttermilk plus 3 Tablespoons for brushing
(substituting whole or 2% milk is okay – I often do this!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray or grease lightly with butter.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar. Stir to mix. Cut in pieces of butter with a pastry blender or with two forks, or rub in butter with your bare hands, until the flour resembles bread crumbs. Chill flour mixture for 10 minutes.

Add buttermilk, mixing until ingredients are just moistened. Pour onto a floured surface and knead 12 times. Roll to 1″ thickness and cut with a 2″ biscuit cutter. Place unbaked scones on greased cookie sheet close, but not touching. Brush the tops of each scone with buttermilk.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot, the best time to eat a scone is on its way from the oven to the trash (meaning, scones are best eaten fresh out of the oven!).

Makes approximately 24 scones that may be frozen or reheated. Best served with butter or clotted cream, lemon curd and fruit preserves.

NOTE: If you don’t have a biscuit cutter and you don’t want to roll out the dough, you can simply drop scones onto the cookie sheet after you’ve stirred in the buttermilk. If you are in a hurry, this is a good alternative. Brush the dropped scones with buttermilk and pop them in the oven.


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