The Tartine Cookbook, Bite By Bite

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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Buttermilk Scones

Posted by bakingtartine on August 4, 2009

What is the deal with buttermilk? Does it have a shorter life than regular dairy milk? I rarely buy regular dairy milk but it seems that as soon as I buy buttermilk, a few days go by and then it’s a mad dash to figure out how to use it before the time is up. Right now in our freezer there is a large baggie stuffed full of biscuits, ready to bake whenever the urge strikes, from another time we had to use buttermilk in an emergency. Once I realized the buttermilk was about to go bad, it was decided we’d make the Buttermilk Scones for the next recipe.

Scone dough

We decided to use dried cranberries instead of Zante currants, for no other reason than they were already in our house and the Zante currants were not. They soaked in warm water to plump while the flour was sifted with baking powder, soda, sugar and salt. Chunks of cold butter were cut in with a pastry blender until the butter was in small lumps. The cranberries were drained and added along with buttermilk. I stirred with a wooden spoon until a dough formed, then dumped it out onto a floured board to shape. This is a really quick dough to make.

Scones ready to cut

I patted the dough into a rectangle and brushed the top with melted butter. Since I lack a pastry brush, I used the back of a spoon to apply the butter. It worked just fine. Alex and I have some kitchen supplies that I consider “extras”, such as a scale, a mortar and pestle, tongs and a popcorn popper, but a pastry brush is not one of them. Neither are ramekins, which I see I will need in a little while for chocolatey things. We’ll see what happens with that. Anyway, the slab of dough got a sprinkling of sugar after the melted butter went on. Then they were ready to cut! That’s my favorite part. There’s something so satisfying about cutting into a thick slab of dough. I’m sure it would be even more satisfying to cut dough with a bench scraper but, you guessed it, we don’t have one.

Scones ready to bake

At this point they went into the oven for 30 minutes. After about 10 minutes the room was filled with the nice scent of a buttery baked good. I let the edges get nice and toasty. One of my favorite things about Tartine is that they let their treats bake a little longer for more flavor.

Scone with eggs

This is Alex’s breakfast. He can’t have just bread for breakfast. Growing up, his father never let him have just pancakes or any type of bread for breakfast. There always had to be eggs or meat. Now Alex is all grown up and he’s just like his dad in that respect, so some scrambled eggs with tomatoes joined the scone on his plate. He kept saying, “These are really good!” It’s almost like he was prepared for them not to be!

Scone, plated

I have no problem eating just bread. Growing up, I ate pancakes, waffles, French toast and cinnamon rolls. I intensely disliked eggs and meat. When I was a new driver and hanging out at the beach by myself a lot, I used to go to the Great Highway Safeway in San Francisco and buy a huge loaf of sourdough bread for 99 cents. Bread makes me happy. Therefore, all my plate needed was one scone and it was delicious! The sprinkling of sugar made a nice crispy top while the inside was soft and fluffy. The only thing I would do differently is to double the amount of fruit next time. The cranberries were too few and far between for my liking, which could just be because cranberries are larger than Zante currants. Chopping them would have helped, but I’ll still add more fruit next time.

We put the rest of the scones in the freezer and have been taking one to work with us each day this week. They taste just as great after thawing in my bag for a few hours.

Next up…something with peaches. They are insanely good at our local farmer’s market right now.


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