We have gallons and gallons of fresh milk coming into the kitchen every day and each gallon includes a quart of cream. After just a few days, that makes for A LOT of sweet, rich, golden, pasture-rich goodness. And so we churn butter. Lots of butter.
I usually leave the cream out on the counter to ripen for about an hour before churning, but the other day I got distracted doing a million other things (typical!) and so that when I went to churn it, it was a little too warm and the butter fat fluffed up but didn’t separate from the buttermilk.
I’ve read of this happening – usually in the summer when the cream gets too warm. It is sometimes called “fluffy butter.” Depending on the batch, you may still be able to strain it from the buttermilk, and press it together sort of. But because it’s too soft to wash, it has to be used first (it is the buttermilk that goes bad. Well-washed butter keeps well in the fridge for a long time). Sometimes though, fluffy butter won’t press together at all. At that point, you can always give it to the pigs (they live for dairy experiments gone wrong!) or use it in a recipe that calls for both butter and buttermilk (which is exactly what it is).
So with our first batch of fluffy butter on our hands, Jordan decided to do a bit of tinkering and created this recipe for buttermilk scones. Since it uses both butter and buttermilk, it’s the perfect use for fluffy butter and they came out light, flaky, and delicious. For the first test, since we couldn’t weigh them separately, we guessed on the yields of both butter and buttermilk based on our usual yields. But we’ve since made it with regular butter and buttermilk and narrowed down the ratios. They turn out beautifully every time.
Note: we use true buttermilk – the liquid left over from making butter. It is sweet and has the same consistency as milk. After a few days in the fridge it gets a little more acidic, and just a little thicker. Store-bought buttermilk is decidedly different. It is much much thicker, for one, so you may need to either add more or add milk to get the liquid consistency right. The dough should just barely come together, and still be loose and flaky – just like a biscuit dough.
Flaky Farmhouse Buttermilk Scones
- Mixing Bowls
- Parchment Paper
- 570 grams flour (approx. 4 3/4 cups)
- 100 grams sugar (1/2 cup)
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 250 grams butter (1 cup + 1 1/2 Tablesppons)
- 340 grams buttermilk (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
- 100 grams nuts, chopped or sliced (1 cup)
- 120 grams dried fruit (1 cup)
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or two knives) until it resembles coarse oatmeal.
- Add the buttermilk all at once and mix a few strokes. Add the nuts and dried fruit, and mix just until the dough comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and split in two. Using well-floured hands, pat and shape (but do not knead) the dough into two round disks, approximately 1.5″ thick. By the time you have the disks shaped, you’ll have used about 600 grams of flour – you want the outside to no longer be sticky. The inside of the dough will still seem wet, but holding its shape.
- Transfer the disks to a parchment covered baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the over to 425F. Remove the disks from the freezer, cut into six equal portions (one cut down the middle and cut each half into thirds). Separate them on the baking tray by a few inches (to allow room for rise).
- Bake 20-28 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown.