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Annabelle White's buttermilk scones

Published: 6:24AM Friday September 18, 2009 Source: Breakfast

Annabelle's tips:

Don't use the food processor for this recipe - make the scones by hand, it produces a better result.

Have the mix slightly wetter than you would think is normal. It should be at the borderline "I think I need more flour" stage rather than dry, but you do need to cut and handle easily

Fan bake does work best with scones. We tried baking scones using traditional and fan bake and the fan bake works best, but a good hot oven whatever you're using.

Place the scones on the tray fairly close together. If they join up in the baking process you will have a very moist scone with a softer side.

Have buttermilk in the fridge. It has a long fridge life and you can use it even 2-3 weeks past the best by date without any problem in a good cold fridge.

Use a knife and turn the bowl to mix the liquid with the flour - saves over-working the gluten in the mix. This will produce a lighter scone.

Fruit buttermilk scones:

This recipe makes 15 scones.

3 cups self-raising flour (or 3 cups flour and 2 heaped tsp baking powder)

Pinch of salt

75g cold butter

1-11/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup dried fruit (raisins, currants, sultanas and thinly chopped dried apricots work well)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200degC fan bake.

Place the flour and salt in a bowl and grate in butter.

With clean hands, work the butter into the flour until the mixture is fully integrated and resembles fine breadcrumbs.

You are now ready to add the buttermilk. Shake the buttermilk before adding it with a knife with the dried fruit.

Keep the mixture wet. Add more buttermilk if necessary.

Place the mixture on a floured bench and gently pat into shape with a quick knead (about 3 pats only), cut into pieces and place on a baking tray, close together.

Bake at 200degC fan bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

If the mix is too wet for you to work easily, just add a little flour.

If you are getting more confident go with the mix being slightly wetter, you can always add another drop of buttermilk.

You can add a half-teaspoon of baking powder to this mix for an extra light scone. Some cooks prefer to bake them at 180degC fan bake - they just need a little more cooking time. Keep an eye on them, once they have some colour they are ready.

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