If you love breakfast scones, this Orange Currant Butter Scones recipe is a must make! They’re as good on their own as they are with a smear of butter, clotted cream or marmalade. Homemade scones are an easy breakfast pastry and ideal for brunch and holiday celebrations.
This breakfast scones recipe has been adapted from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion recipe for Tea Scones. They are made from simple, wholesome ingredients like unbleached flour, a little salt and the standard leaveners. What makes these homemade scones stand out are the mix-ins. Tiny, sweet, dried currants and lots of fresh orange zest.
How To Blend Butter Scones:
- Use room temperature butter and a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour and currant mixture.
- Don’t use your hands to mix as they can melt the butter. You want a rough, shaggy blend with whole bits of butter scattered throughout.
- When the flour mixture is loosely incorporated, add the buttermilk and egg mixture.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until it just starts to come together. You can use your hands to incorporate any loose flour into the dough, but don’t overwork it.
Tips For Shaping & Cutting Homemade Scones:
- Divide the dough in half and gently pat it into a 3/4″ thick circle.
- Use a 2 1/2″ diameter biscuit cutter to cut the scones.
- Place the cutter on the edge of the dough and press straight down — DO NOT TWIST the dough, as it will impede the scones “rising capabilities”.
- Transfer the breakfast scones to a prepared baking sheet.
- Continue in this fashion, pushing the biscuit cutter firmly into the dough until you’re left with scraps.
- Gently bring together the scraps and pat them together to form another 3/4″ thick round and cut the scones as before.
- Pat out the other half of the dough and continue in the same manner until you’ve only got enough dough left for a small-ish scone. This one’s for you — we’ll call it a “tester” so you can have some measure of quality control before serving them to the crowd.
Before putting the butter scones in the oven to bake, you’ll want to brush the tops with cream and generously sprinkle with sparkling sugar. The cream will give the breakfast scones a beautiful golden color and the sparkling sugar adds a textural crunch that everyone loves.
Bake the Orange Currant Breakfast Scones for about 15 minutes or until they’re fragrant and golden. Serve immediately with good salted butter or your favorite jam or marmalade.
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Orange Currant Breakfast Scones
- 3 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup currants
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (from about 2 oranges)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk well-shaken
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1/4 cup sparkling sugar
- Place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the currants and orange zest and whisk well until evenly distributed.
- Use a pastry blender (or two knives) to cut the butter into the flour -- breaking it up evenly into the flour. Use a spoon to create a well in the center of the flour mixture.
- Whisk the buttermilk and egg together in a small bowl and pour the mixture into the center of the well. Use a wooden spoon to stir the dough until it just starts to come together. Knead the dough about 4 times together into a ball -- but don't overwork the dough -- you want to have bits of whole butter scattered throughout to give your scones lift.
- Lightly flour a work surface. With a sharp knife or dough cutter, split the dough in half. Place one half of the dough onto the work surface and lightly pat it into a circle about 3/4" thick.
- Use a round 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter and cut the scones using a straight down motion. Do not twist the biscuit cutter or your scones won't rise as high. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet. Gather up the scraps of the dough and pat it into a round about 3/4" high and cut out the remainder of the biscuits.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Once the scones are on the baking sheet, dip a pastry brush into the cream and lightly brush the tops of each scone with cream. Sprinkle the scones with sparkling sugar to really coat the top of the scones well.
- Bake for 8 minutes, then turn the pan 180° and bake for another 7-8 minutes or until the scones are lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and serve with butter, jams and/or clotted cream.