Blueberry Lavender Scones
(yields 8 scones)
Everything about making scones should be done with tenderness. Handle the dough gently, like it’s a sleeping baby. Don’t over-mix or knead it. Use your lightest touch.
8 oz (1-3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp dried culinary lavender, finely ground
1/2 cup blueberries
8 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup buttermilk, plus 2 Tbsp
2 Tbsp turbinado sugar
No lavender in your spice cabinet? No worries. Substitute orange zest for another fragrant and fruity combination.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix in the ground lavender.
Add the butter and mix just until coated with flour. The butter chunks should remain fairly large - no less than half their original size. With the mixer on slow speed, fold in the blueberries.
Continuing with the mixer set on slow speed, add 2/3 cup of the buttermilk and mix until just absorbed. Immediately stop mixing when the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Scrape the dough from the bowl with a rubber spatula and shape it into a ball on a lightly floured surface. With well-floured fingers, pat the dough into a 7 inch-diameter disk. Cut the disk into quarters with a knife or bench scraper and then cut each quarter in half.
Set the 8 scones on a lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk and turbinado sugar. Bake about 20 minutes, until they are a deep golden color.
THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB
Bench scraper, pastry knife, dough scraper...it goes by many names. It’s used by bakers to pick up, turn, and cut dough into portions without heating it up and working it excessively with your warm hands. Use the sides of it to shape your scone dough into a perfect circle and then use it to cut through and portion your scones. Slip it underneath each scone and deliver them onto your sheet pan. When it’s time to clean up, slide it along your work surface to scrape up bits of dough and flour.