When school starts up at my daughter’s elementary school, the PTA at organizes a teachers breakfast for the first day of teacher training. Because our school starts in August, this breakfast takes place near the end of July when blueberries are at their peak. For the last couple of years, I have made these scones as my contribution, but I’ve been making these particular scones ever since I read the original recipe in Cook’s Illustrated, lo these many years ago.
Scones can be, honestly, just terrible. I’ve had many a dry, tasteless, bready triangle that wasn’t worth the energy it took to eat. These scones are definitely worth the time.
Best Blueberry Scones
Adapted from a recipe by Cook’s Illustrated
- 4 ounces (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, frozen whole
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups Blueberries, fresh, about 7.5 ounces, picked over
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 2 cups Unbleached All-purpose Flour, plus additional for work surface
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 2 tablespoons Raw Sugar, for sprinkling
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Grate 4 ounces of frozen unsalted butter (1 stick) using the large holes on a box grater or your food processor. Place grated butter in freezer until needed.
Whisk together the whole milk and sour cream in medium bowl and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Transfer dough to a liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour. With floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square, like so.
Fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square.
Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.
Transfer chilled dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough.
Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log.
Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 5 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles.
Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Melt the remaining Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake at 425 degrees F until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving…or longer.
MAKE AHEAD OPTIONS
This recipe lends itself very well to being prepared in advance. You can make the scones all the way up to the baking step, wrap the tray in plastic wrap and then refrigerate. In the morning, you can simply pop the scones right in the hot oven for breakfast. Or you can freeze the dough on the tray, later wrap each frozen scone individually in plastic and then bake up to a month in the future.
When ready to bake, for refrigerated scones, heat oven to 425 degrees and follow and bake 18 to 25 minutes as usual. For frozen scones, heat oven to 375 degrees and extend cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes.