Thursday, June 28, 2018

Extra Fluffy Lemon Buttermilk Scones - Interesting because lemon juice can really make scones fluffier!

As we all know, self-raising flour is a core ingredient to bake good fluffy scones.

Personally, I don't and won't substitute self-raising flour with plain flour plus baking powder when I use it to bake scones. Why? Theoretically, we can make our own self-raising flour by mixing 1 cup plain flour with 2 tsp baking powder. Practically, this substitution works well for baking cakes but not optimally for scones. To me, the chemical raising power of the well-formulated self raising is always the best and unbeatable! And you will rarely "catch" me baking scones without using self-raising flour... except today!!! LOL!

Can you imagine? How can I bake decent scones with NO self raising flour, NO baking powder, NO baking soda or NO any chemical raising agents??? Strangely and amazingly, I did and the scones did puffed up eventually!!! How??? I'm guessing... The magic ingredients are buttermilk, lemon juice and egg!!! Interesting, huh?

From my NO-raising-agent bake, I have learned that lemon juice can make scones fluffier!!! From here, I have also learned to create these extra fluffy lemon buttermilk scones...


lemon buttermilk scones
Extra Fluffy Lemon Buttermilk Scones
Do you know that lemon juice can make fluffy scones even fluffier?

What lead me to learn this?

Is it going to be a long grandma story again? LOL! I hope not...

In short, this NO-raising-agent scone idea originates from the book, 100 Desserts to Die For by Trish Deseine which is one of my favourite recipe book for baking and desserts.

Can you imagine? Scones with NO self raising flour, NO baking powder, NO baking soda and has egg? Wah! It is sp not traditional!!! I was like huh??? and huh!!! when I first saw the recipe. I kept asking myself... Is this a typo error? Or am I having any vision problem? I have read this recipe more than thousands millions times and confirmed that there is NO raising agents in these scones and the curious me said that I had to go for it! And, I did.

lemon buttermilk scones
These are the Lemon Buttermilk Scones with NO chemical rising agents added.
lemon buttermilk scones
I'm surprised to see that these scones did raised, not tremendously but well enough after baking!
lemon buttermilk scones
Surprised that these scones taste ok with their lemony buttery taste.
lemon buttermilk scones
... and interesting with a moist chewy "kueh-like" flaky texture.

Isn't it amazing that the lemon scones made with NO raising agents can still rise after baking? Not a lot but still good enough to create a nice flaky texture.

Although the scones do not taste like the traditional well-risen scones, my son said that he actually likes the uncommon moist chewy "kueh-like" flaky texture, tangy buttery taste and the melty plus a little crunchy sugary tops of these lemony scones. I felt the same too. Due to the fact that these scones are not as fluffy as the most traditional ones, they are actually quite plain and doughy to eat on their own. The author of this book suggests that these scones should be ideally served with crunchy lemon butter but we simply love them with honey!

However, if you are a traditionalist, I bet that you wouldn't like these scones!!! No right or wrong! We know because it took us a while with more than a couple of chews to accept and like these uncommon scones.

Then, I had an idea!!! I can add lemon juice into my BEST basic scones recipe to bake even fluffier scones!!!

Gosh!!! This idea is a SPOT-ON!!!


fluffy lemon buttermilk scones
Look!!! I have created these EXTRA FLUFFY lemon buttermilk scones!!!
lemon buttermilk scones
Wow! They are very well risen with beautiful buttery fluffy texture.
And they taste very good too with zesty lemony fragrance.

These EXTRA FLUFFY lemon scones are the enhanced version of my BEST basic scones recipe. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you like buttery fluffy scones and also lemon!!!

Here's a video showing how I baked these extra fluffy lemon scones. As always, It is IMPORTANT not to overwork dough.


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Here are the recipes.

I have included both recipes, one with self-raising flour (recipe one) and another without any raising agent (recipe two) just in case if you are curious and want to bake both. If you are a traditionalist and prefer scones that are fluffy, I would strongly encourage you to bake just recipe one using the self-raising flour.

Recipe one: The EXTRA fluffy Lemon Buttermilk Scones adapted from here with NO egg - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Makes about seven 6 cm round scones
225g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour*
1/4 tsp salt
75g unsalted butter, cold
1 tbsp demerara sugar or any coarse sugar
100ml (6 2/3 tbsp) buttermilk**, cold, plus extra if required
30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest, plus more if you like

* Please DO NOT replace self-raising flour with plain flour (or all purpose flour) plus baking powder. Although the chemistry of both self-raising flour and baking powder added are the same, the raising strength of self-raising flour has shown to be the best for making scones.

** Please DO NOT substitute buttermilk with milk plus vinegar or yogurt. The texture and chemistry reaction of the vinegar-ed milk or yogurt are never the same as buttermilk.

To shape and finish:
extra flour to dust
extra buttermilk to brush
1-2 tbsp extra demerara sugar or any coarse sugar to sprinkle - It's a must to do this as the scones are not sweet!

Recipe two: Lemon Buttermilk Scones with NO raising agent adapted from the book, 100 Desserts to Die For by Trish Deseine

Makes about seven 6 cm round scones
225g (1 1/2 cups) plain / all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
75g unsalted butter, cold
1 tbsp demerara sugar or any coarse sugar
l egg, cold
45ml (3 tbsp) buttermilk**, cold plus extra if required
30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest, plus more if you like

To shape and finish:
extra flour to dust
extra buttermilk to brush
1-2 tbsp extra demerara sugar or any coarse sugar to sprinkle - It's a must to do this as the scones are not sweet!

For both recipes:

Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F or 200°C / 400°F fan forced.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Lightly dust the baking paper with flour.

Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add butter and use your fingertips to rub butter into the flour mixture until mixture forms pea-like crumbs. Then, stir sugar into the flour mixture.

Combine egg (recipe two only), buttermilk, lemon juice and lemon zest in another bowl and mix mixture briefly until combined.

Using a blunt knife, make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour buttermilk mixture into the well and use the same knife to mix until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Once the dough starts to come together, use your hands to gather all together to form one pliable dough. Do not over-mix or over-knead the dough too much. The dough should be pliable but not sticky. If dough is too dry, add a little buttermilk.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Use your hand to pat dough to form a flat round with about 2-3 cm (1 inch) thickness. Using a lightly floured 6 cm round cookie cutter, cut the dough into 7-8 rounds and place them on the prepared tray, about 2 cm (3/4 inches) apart. It's ok that the scones are not neatly shaped because they should not be over-worked.

Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the top of each scone with buttermilk and sprinkle about 1/2 tsp demerara sugar on each scone.

Bake for 14 mins for recipe one and 12 mins for recipe two or until the scones are well risen, golden and cooked through. It is important NOT to under-bake scones! Serve warm with honey or extra butter or lemon butter.


IMPORTANT: These scones are best eaten on the day that they are made. Preferably hot from the oven or at least warm if you are enjoying the scones from recipe two.

To make the lemon butter (adapted from the book, 100 Desserts to Die For by Trish Deseine):

Combine 75g salted butter, 1 tbsp caster sugar and grated zest and juice of 1/4 lemon and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Serve butter immediately with hot or warm scones.

Happy Baking
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2 comments:

  1. I dont use self raising flour but my scones turned out ok. Its not that I have something against self raising flour its because I rarely use it and it tends to just sit in my kitchen cupboard. love the flavor you have used in this one :)

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    1. Hi Nammi, One of my colleagues is like you initially... She refused to use SR flour at first but noticed that her scones had an unpleasant metallic taste. I have managed to convince her to use SR flour to bake her scones eventually. Since then, she never spoke about this problem.

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