Tips for making perfect scones:
- Combine all the dry ingredients and whisk them together before adding the wet ingredients. Dispersing the salt and leavening helps the scones rise evenly.
- Work the cold butter in with your fingers until the bits are no bigger than a pea. Those little bits of butter will give the scones a slightly flakey texture.
- If you don’t have fresh buttermilk, buttermilk powder is the best substitute. Mix the buttermilk powder according to the directions before adding to the scones.
- Once the wet ingredients are added, mix just until the flour is incorporated. I like to make scones by hand to avoid over-mixing the dough.
- You can use a rolling pin, but I prefer to pat the dough by hand to avoid overworking the dough.
- Since the baking powder is activated as soon as the wet and dry ingredients come together, it’s best to bake the scones soon after the dough is mixed.
- To work ahead, mix all the dry ingredients and work in the butter. Combine the wet ingredients and refrigerate the prepared ingredients until you’re ready to finish the recipe.
- Scones are best eaten they day they are baked.
- Baked scones should never be refrigerated.
- Baked scones can be frozen for up to three months. Defrost the scones at room temperature, then warm in the oven to revive the texture.
- 1/4 cup demerara sugar or "Sugar in the Raw"
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 5 cups (1.5 pounds) all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1 Tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon (2.5 oz) granulated sugar
- 6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) cool unsalted butter, cut into 1" chunks
- 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- 1 Tablespoon real Maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 375°F convection or 400°F regular.
Make the Ginger Sugar:
- Combine the demerara sugar and ground ginger in a small bowl, whisk to combine
Make the Scones
- Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and molasses, set aside.
- Combine flour, baking powder, spices, salt and sugar in a mixer bowl.
- Mix dry ingredients on low speed with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds to combine.
- With the mixer running, toss in the butter chunks a few at a time.
- Continue to mix on medium-low speed until the butter bits are the size of a pea.
- With the mixer on low speed add buttermilk mixture all at once
- Mix on low until just barely combined.
- Some loose flour will remain at the bottom of the bowl. DON'T OVER MIX.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and finish kneading by hand just until all the loose flour is absorbed-about 10-12 kneads
- Use your hands to pat the dough until it is a 3/4" thick disc.
- Use a 2"-3" biscuit cutter to cut scones, cut straight down, don't twist or turn the cutter.
- Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until all the dough is used.
- Arrange the scones on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving at least 1/2" space between.
- Brush the tops of the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with ginger sugar.
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven, flipping the tray after 10 minutes (see note).
- The scones are ready when they are golden brown, feel light and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.
- Total baking time about 15 minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a small food processor
- Process in 30 second increments, scraping the bowl between.
- Process util the cranberries are chopped into small bits.
When you flip the tray around after 10 minutes take a look at the bottom of a scone. If they look like they're browning too fast slide another tray under the scones until they are fully baked.
If you don't have a small food processor to make the cranberry maple butter mince the dried cranberries by hand and stir together the ingredients.