Years ago when we lived in New England, we would occasionally take a day trip up into New Hampshire and Vermont, our goal being a stop at Simon Pearce for lunch. It was always delightful sitting out on the deck/dining room, overlooking the river and the falls while we awaited our food. To help pass the time, they would bring out two little breads: Rory’s Scones, and Ballymaloe Brown Bread. Both are wonderful, just the perfect little smackerel to tide you over those few minutes until your meal is served. Now, one of the great things about Simon Pearce is that they provide recipes (they used to, but no longer) for some of their dishes, including both breads, so we have taken it upon ourselves to whip up some scones from time to time. Now, unfortunately, we can’t quite get the scones just right. Ours are a bit too tough, but that just means that we have to try again. And if you’re willing to try, too, now’s your chance.We scaled back just a bit on the recipe, as we can’t really use 54 scones at one time, and adjusted a few ingredients slightly to better suit our taste. Now, just so you know, these are not sweet, nor will they be flaky, or have fruit in them. Instead, they are little savory bites that are perfect for dipping into soup, or eating with a bit of cheese.
Makes about 15 scones
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
Whew! There really isn’t much in this ingredient list. Instead, it’s all in the technique — which we are still working on.
Preheat oven to 400°F and place a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
Measure dry ingredients. Measure all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl, then mix thoroughly. Very thoroughly. You might want to sift these together, or use a whisk. It can’t hurt. Once you’ve mixed everything, make a well in the center.
Add buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk into the center, and quickly mix everything together. Don’t work the dough very much, as that will make the scones tough. Once everything is mixed, turn them out onto your silicone mat.
Dust with flour. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and press down until the dough is about 3/4 of an inch thick.
Cut. Using a dough scraper, cut the scones into pieces about an inch square, and barely separate. We just use the scraper to push them slightly apart.
Bake. Slide them in the oven for 18 minutes, rotating halfway through.
We are still working on these. We know they can be five stars, although we can’t seem to get them there. If you try these and find them a bit on the tough side, all we can say is that, like us, you need to work at it. Again, it’s really the technique, and, once you get it down, you’ll find that these are some of the best little quick breads you’ve ever eaten. Trust us, or visit Simon Pearce and see for yourself.