- Pre-heat the oven to 220C/gas 7. Grease a large baking tray.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Cut the butter into bits and drop into the bowl. Rub it lightly into the flour between your fingers and thumbs, lifting the mix high over the bowl so it drops down and picks up extra air. Keep the movements light and fast and don’t overwork the dough or it won’t have the airy quality you want to achieve.
- Once it’s incorporated, add the sugar and two-thirds of the buttermilk. Mix it in with a fork then add a bit more buttermilk at a time, forking it in as you go, until you have a soft (not wet) dough. To judge the consistency, pull the dough lightly into ball using your hand, without squashing or squeezing. Be subtle. Knead the dough for a few seconds until you have a smooth a..
- Sit the ball on a very lightly floured board. Put it out very lightly into a rough circle about 2.5 cm thick.
- Using a floured 6.5 cm cookie/scone cutter, cut out 8 scones, pressing down sharply without twisting. Lift the scones out leanly and place on the baking tray. Use a sharp knife to cut them into triangles if you don’t have a cutter.
- Re-roll scraps (working lightly) and repeat. Brush each s cone with a little extra buttermilk to add colour to the tops and sprinkle with a little optional granulated sugar.
- Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden. Check after 10 minutes. Remove scones from the tin with a thin metal spatula. Cool on a rack unless you’re eating them warm.
- Split the scones in two when warm or cold. Serve with butter and jam or clotted cream and jam. Or whipped cream also works. If you’re dealing with a Yorkshire cream tea though pile the scones onto a plate and serve the butter, cream and jams in individual pots so everyone helps themselves and feels spoiled by the whole experience.