We were invite to meet a new baby over the weekend.
If you know anything about me, you'll know I'm absolutely smitten with new baby news and I couldn't wait to meet this little man who'd recently entered the world.
Another thing about me is that I love baking for people and I could never go to visit a new mama without bringing baked goods
But, being a mum of 2 now my time can sometimes be limited. Everything has to fit into a particularly tight schedule. In addition to that we've had some really rough nights to contend with, so I certainly wasn't in the capacity to bake anything too complicated or time consuming.
I needed a classic.
I needed something that was delicious and moorish but quick and uncomplicated...
I needed something that I already had the ingredients for...
I needed something that would be ready in next to no time...
Honestly, there's no need to complicate this at all. The scone is a simple thing, made delicious with fresh jam and whipped cream. So simple yet so inviting.
The kids played.
The baby was snuggled.
And the scones were devoured.
What a perfect way to spend the weekend.
And you could be eating them too, this afternoon if you wanted.
They're so quick, ready in about 30 minutes and the best, eaten still warm from the oven with jam and fresh cream.
These scones are light and tender with just a hint of sweetness, definitely not dry or chewy, or dense like the rock cakes that I've seen being passed off as scones at some places..
You don't even need an occasion to make these, they're excellent for a quick morning or afternoon tea.
I'd love to know if you try my recipe!
Classic Buttermilk Scones
Makes 12 - 15 scones
500g self raising flour ( + additional flour for dusting the work surface)
90g chilled butter, grated
scant 1/4 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A couple of notes before we start..
You can create your own buttermilk using 3 tablespoons of vinegar into 300 ml milk, stirred thoroughly and left for 10 minutes to mature. I add the vanilla extract into the milk.
I freeze a cube of butter and grate it to make it easier to incorporate into the flour. If you have a food processor this recipe can be made completely in the processor.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
Grease and flour a baking tray or line with baking paper.
Add the self raising flour, castor sugar and butter together into a bowl and using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until a fine sand consistency is achieved. Alternatively pop everything into a food processor and blitz until combined and sandy. By rubbing the butter into the flour we coat the grain slowing down gluten activation, this will help achieve a soft and tender scone. Once gluten is activated, with the addition of moisture and agitation (kneading) we tend to create a chewy texture to our baked goods.
Pour the milk into the flour and butter mixture and using a bread knife work it all together into a rough dough. The less we knead the dough the lighter the scones will become. Scrape this dough out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured work surface and bring together into a mass. The dough will be quite sticky but be mindful that you handle the dough gently and only add enough flour that the dough doesn't stick to everything. By adding more flour into the dough we can end up with tough scones.
Flatten the dough using your hand or a rolling pin to about 4cm in height. Make sure there's enough flour under the scone dough that when the scones are cut they don't stick to the bench and are easy to transfer onto a baking tray. Cut scones using a cookie or scone cutter, mine was 5cm in diameter.
Place onto the baking tray. I like to have my scones quite close together on the tray, this way they seem to help each other rise while they're baking. I find that when the space between each scone is very large the scones can rise lopsided while baking. But each to their own, there's no right or wrong on this one, just personal preference.
Brush the tops of the scones with milk and place in the hot oven. Depending on the size of your scones and how close together they are on the tray they'll be ready in 19 - 22 minutes.
In the time they're baking I whip some fresh cream with 2tbs sugar and about a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste and place the bowl back in the fridge, covered until the scones are ready.
When the scones are ready the tops will be golden brown and the scones will feel light.
I let them cool in the tin, covered with a fresh tea towel, this helps keep the scones soft until ready to serve.
Boil the kettle and get comfy x