These fragrant scones employ the technique of using buttermilk to achieve a tender crumb while using a good deal less butter than usual. Coriander and fresh orange zest, along with the small amount of butter, ensure lovely flavor.
Yield: Makes 8 scones
Oil for the baking sheet
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
2 teaspoons baking powder, preferably nonaluminum
½ teaspoon baking soda
2½ teaspoons ground coriander or 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar or spice grinder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablepoons sugar
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
¾ cup dried cherries, blueberries, or currants
1½ to 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
¾ cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush a baking sheet lightly with oil and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, coriander, salt, and sugar.
With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Scatter in the cherries and orange zest. With a fork, stir in the buttermilk until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it three or four times with floured hands.
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and shape each into a ball. Place the balls of dough on the baking sheet with at least 2 inches between them.
With a sharp knife, cut a cross in the top of each ball. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Bake the scones for 13 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
The scones are best when freshly baked, but they will keep, well wrapped, for up to 2 days. To refresh them, wrap in foil and heat in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes, or until warm. Or split and toast them.