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When I ran my bakery, I made more than a few mistakes. Yes, I made absolutely sure that I did most of the work myself, and yes, I let some shady characters man the register. My other big mistake was baking more scones before the last batch was sold. On busy weekends, I thought I'd stay ahead of the game by getting more scones in the oven, timed perfectly to refill the pan under the counter. Not so. Must customers could sniff it out every time. If they smelled the scones baking they would insist on waiting to get a hot and fresh one.
You'll feel that way yourself when you bake these scones at home. The aroma of breakfast in the oven is absolutely irresistible, and these scones make it happen with hardly any effort. The simple dough is hand mixed in one bowl, shaped, and in the oven in about 15 minutes. A scone dough hand mixed you wonder? With cold butter? Yup, just like grandma used to do. It might seem unimaginable to blend butter into flour without a mixer, but these days dough blenders come in heavy duty designs, with serious blades that make cutting butter into the flour a snap. Mixing up a scone dough this way (incorporating the butter into the flour in such a way that tiny bits of butter stay separate in the mixture), keeps the scones tender.
Buttermilk also adds tenderness, as well as a slight tang. To compliment that flavor, I toss in a generous amount of fragrant lime zest. And just like my customers, my favorite way to have 'em is straight out of the oven with a giant pat of butter.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), and available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and Let Them Eat Cake columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.