Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Buttermilk Scones, Thanks FoodTV

Until now, scones were a far attempt in my house. Generally if it includes baking, I put it off for as long as I can; unless it's biscotti and then it’s a different story. My parents highly favor my homemade almond biscotti so every few months I make a batch and send them in mail to my parents.

This past weekend was interesting with the weather and all. On Friday the snow started early in the morning and didn't let up until Saturday afternoon. To everyone's surprise we received 8-12 inches of snow. It was the biggest storm of the season. On snowy Saturday, a close friend mentioned making biscuits and gravy for breakfast. As there wasn't a lot to do around the house, I started looking for biscuit recipes using buttermilk. (I had to finish the last of it). I came across many recipes but most required shortening or lard for a good flaky texture. Since I don’t keep either of those ingredients in my house, ever, (I know, I know- sue me), I started browsing for other foods that used buttermilk. Another dish that yielded multiple results was (Southern) Fried Chicken. Though it sounded really good, I wasn't interested in dipping, egging, redipping and frying chicken. Let's be real, it was a lazy snowed in Saturday, and I wasn't going to let anything, even cooking, get in the way of it. As you can see, when the weather turns, my mood to cook a fabulous meal also turns south.

Finally I came across a fabulous buttermilk scones recipe on FoodTV that required very few ingredients and would be a great breakfast accompaniment to our chai. Chai or Cha is Indian tea boiled with milk, sugar and variety of spices like cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, cloves. I prefer mine with just the cardamom.

After reading the reviews, I knew I had to try it. I didn’t have heavy cream for brushing but one reviewer indicates that the scones taste fine without it. Currants are optional therefore I did not add those. As previously mentioned, I am not much of a baker but this one is a fool proof recipe that I can even make. The husband enjoyed them as well and he’s not a fan of semi-sweet biscuits/scones.

Buttermilk Scones (I cut the recipe in half for the two of us. It yielded 5 medium scones.)

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add butter and mix with your fingertips to a coarse meal. Add buttermilk and mix just until combined. Be sure to not over work the dough. Transfer dough to a floured counter top and roll into 3/4 inch thick round. Cut into 5 wedges and place slightly separated on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm. And dunk in chai, as we always do with biscuits, scones, cookies or anything dunkable.

Speaking of the weather, after it snowed all day Friday and half of Saturday, the husband cleared the driveway and I cleared the walkway and the steps. On Sunday, the temperatures were high enough to melt most of the snow. Damn the unpredictable weather! Fortunately the higher temperatures are an indication of what’s about to come, SPRING!

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