Today we’re keeping it simple and talking about one of my favorite classic treats: buttermilk scones. There is nothing pretentious nor complicated about these buttery, crumbly scones. No add-ins, no glazes, no spices. Just good ole’ fashioned basic scones.
Despite their lack of extra flavoring, I refuse to use the adjective “plain” to describe these scones as I find it to have a very negative connotation. To me, “plain” means an unseasoned, dried out chicken breast or bowl of thick, unflavored oatmeal. Unless you’re recovering from a stomach virus, there is no excuse to eat these horrible excuses for food. Therefore, to ensure that these amazing treats are not associated with bland nothingness, I will stick to words like “classic” and “basic.” If y’all have any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments!
Anyway, regardless of descriptive adjective, this is my absolute favorite recipe for classic American-style scones. They resemble British scones in a way, as they are much less sweet than traditional American scones with only 1/3 cup of sugar in the entire recipe. The rich butter flavor takes center stage, followed by a subtle sweetness that’s left lingering on your tongue. The tangy buttermilk (or sour cream) is the perfect complement to round it all off.
Where these scones deviate from their British counterparts is clearly in their triangular shape. I prefer baking triangle scones sheerly out of pure laziness, as I think it’s easier to slice a slab of dough into equal triangles than cut out individual circles. After a little bit of research, the exact history of scone shapes remains unclear to me. To be fair, I was bored with the information I found and gave up after about 30 seconds. I was hoping for some dramatic story involving the Founding Fathers defying the King so I’ll have to leave this story to my imagination.
These scones are so easy and delicious, and one of my go-to weekend breakfast treats. They really take an ordinary breakfast or brunch to the next level with minimal work! Next time you wake up on a lazy Sunday, do yourself a favor and whip up a batch of these buttermilk scones. Serve with whatever jams and spreads you have on hand. Enjoy!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup buttermilk (can substitute sour cream)
- 2 eggs
- Sugar for sprinkling
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
- Using large holes on a box grater, grate butter into flour mixture. Make sure to scrape butter off inside of grater. (TIP: Butter works better if it's frozen, but you can use refrigerated butter, too.)
- Work butter into flour mixture with hands. Dough will be extremely crumbly and dry.
- In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk and one of the eggs until well combined.
- Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture. Stir with a fork until large dough starts to form. It may seem like dough initially needs more liquid, but use your hands to press dough into one large ball.
- Sprinkle flour on a cutting board or your counter. Pat dough ball into a circle approximately 8-inches wide by ¾-inch thick.
- Crack the other egg into a small bowl and mix with a fork. Brush egg wash over the top of the dough and sprinkle with sugar.
- Cut circle into 8 equal triangles. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Let scones rest on baking sheet for 2 minutes and then move to cooling wrack. Serve immediately. Store scones in an air-tight container for 5 days so you can continue to enjoy.