Last week I found out that one of my husband’s favorite pastimes is to pick up a chocolate chip scone from Whole Foods on his way home from work. He does this about twice a week. I can’t blame him. I’m a scone lover myself, and sometimes I guess you just need a little pick-me-up to make it through the evening commute. I quickly decided that scones would be my baking project for the week, and set out to find a good recipe.
I used to eat the oatmeal currant scones from Balthazar Bakery all the time and wanted to recreate something similar. I ended up combining a few different recipes from Cook’s Illustrated & Epicurious for the final result. Blackberries are my favorite berry, so I made half blackberry & half currant scones. They were so very delicious! They rose beautifully and had a wonderful crumb. Not too taken, not too dense, and just biscuity enough. The big chunks of blackberry were a great decision – it tasted like biscuits & jam! I hope you find time to make these soon. If you do, let me know how they turned out!
First thing, put 2 sticks of butter in the freezer the night before you plan to make these. In the morning you’ll grate the butter.
Whisk together all your dry ingredients, then add the zest and grated butter and toss with your fingers until incorporated.
Then you’ll add buttermilk until it forms a ragged dough like this.
Roll the dough out into a 12×12 inch square
Then fold the dough up like a letter into thirds.
Fold up the long ends, again into thirds. Now put the dough in the freezer to chill for 5 minutes.
After it’s chilled, roll the dough back out into a 12×12 inch square. Sprinkle your mix-ins and lightly press them into the dough. I actually did half blackberry and half currant!
Now tightly roll the dough up, like you’re making cinnamon rolls!
Flatten it slightly by pressing with your hands.
Then cut into 8 wedges. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Blackberry Oatmeal Scones
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 sticks of unsalted butter, frozen
Zest from 1 orange & 1 meyer lemon (or whatever you have)
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk plus more for brushing
About 1 cup of mix-ins (I used blackberries & currants, but you can use any other berries)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread oats evenly on baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant and lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool to room temp. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
Remove 3/4 wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate a total of 12 tablespoons). Place grated butter in freezer until needed along with buttermilk & berries/currants.
Whisk dry ingredients and zests in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
Add buttermilk to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. Transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flower and knead 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in a ragged ball.
Roll dough into approximate 12×12 square. Fold dough into thirds like a letter, using bench scraper to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate and chill in freezer 5 minutes.
Transfer dough back to work surface and roll into approximate 12×12 square again. Sprinkle mix-ins evenly over surface of dough and press down so they are slightly embedded. Using bench scraper, loosen dough from work surface. Roll up dough to form a tight log, like you’re making cinnamon rolls. Lay log seam-side down and gently press into a 12 by 4-inch rectangle. With knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment or sil-pat lined baking sheet.
Brush tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18-20 minutes.
Makes 8 scones.