Here's another wonderful scone recipe from my Simply Scones cookbook. These, along with Classic Cream Scones, are my sons' favorite. It's funny, with all the other scone creations I make such as Cranberry Chocolate Chunk and Blueberry Coffee Cake, my boys still prefer the plain ones, smothered in butter.
Remember, if you don't have buttermilk on hand, simply measure 1 tsp. of vinegar or lemon juice, and add enough regular milk to equal 1 cup. Let it sit for a few minutes before adding to your recipe. So in this case, since the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of buttermilk, you would measure 1/2 tsp vinegar.
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 TB unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg white for brushing tops of scones
Preheat oven to 400-F
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and distribute them into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. Or, use a cheese grater and grate the butter into it. That's what I prefer to do.
In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
There are two way you could shape your scones. The easiest and quickest way is to flour your hands and pat the dough into an 8-inch-diameter circle on an ungreased baking sheet. With a sharp knife (I like to use a pizza roller) cut into 8 wedges.
If you prefer smaller scones, place the dough on a floured surface and pat it into an 8-inch square. Cut this into 4 equal pieces then cut each smaller square diagonally with an X, to make 4 smaller triangles. This gives you 16 scones. Using a spatula, place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet.
For either method, brush the tops of your scones with egg white for a nice shiny appearance.
If you use the circle method, bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean.
If you use the square method, bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and and let cool for 5 minutes.
Re-cut the scones if necessary (if you used the circle method), and serve immediately or cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter and jam or honey, or your favorite topping.