Julia Child’s Buttermilk Scones

These are the scones my sweetie makes for us on weekends.

Julia Child’s Buttermilk Scones
Makes 12 triangular or 24 rolled scones

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it’s fresh)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces Kerrygold butter, chilled
3/4—1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest (optional)
2 ounces unsalted Kerrygold butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar, for dusting

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together with a fork. Add the cold butter pieces and using your fingertips (first choice) a pastry blender, or two knives work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. It’s okay if some largish pieces of butter remain—they’ll add to the sconces’ flakiness.

Pour in 1 cup buttermilk, toss in the zest, and mix with the fork only until the ingredients are just moistened. You’ll have a soft dough with a rough look. (If the dough looks dry, add another tablespoon of buttermilk) Gather the dough into a ball, pressing it gently so that it holds together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it very briefly-a dozen turns should do it. Cut the dough in half.

To Make Triangular Scones
Roll one piece of the dough into a half-inch thick circle that is about 7 inches across. Brush the dough with half of the melted butter, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and cut the circle into 6 triangles. Place the scones on an uncreased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

To Make Rolled Scones
Roll one piece of dough into a strip that is 12 inches long and 1/2 inch thick (the piece will not be very wide). Spread the strip with half the melted butter and dust with half the sugar. If you want to spread the roll with jam and/or sprinkle dried fruits, now’s the time to do so: leave a narrow border on a long edge bare. Roll the strip up from the long side like a jelly roll: pinch the seam closed and turn the roll seam side down. Cut the roll in half and cut each piece into six 1-inch-wide roll-ups. Place the rolled scones cut side down on an uncreased baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Baking the Scones
Bake the scones for 10 to 12 minutes, until both the tops and bottoms are golden. Transfer the scones to a rack to cool slightly. These are best served warm, but are just fine at room temperature.

Serve with fresh berries and whipped cream.

Storing
If you’re not going to eat the scones the day they are made, wrap them airtight and freeze; they’ll stay fresh for a month. To serve, defrost the scones at room temperature in their wrappers, then unwrap and reheat on a baking sheet for 5 minutes in a 350-degree oven.