Author Notes: This recipe comes from Briana Holt at Tandem Coffee and Bakery in Portland, Maine. If you have a kitchen scale, definitely use it for this recipe! Also, be sure to use a very high-fat butter—it will make the difference in the final result. —Posie (Harwood) Brien
Makes: 12 large scones
ounces very good butter (use 82% or 86% milk fat if you can find it)
grams (6 cups) all-purpose flour
grams (4 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder
grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) baking soda
grams (1/2 cup) sugar
grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) salt
ounces tender, fresh kale
tablespoon lemon juice
cup pine nuts
cup grated pecorino or Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
cup currants (optional)
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
teaspoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon)
cups cold, well-shaken buttermilk
- Cut the butter up into small cubes (about 1/2-inch squares) and chill in the refrigerator. The butter should be quite cold but not frozen.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add them to a food processor with the cold butter and pulse until the mixture has large, pea-sized chunks of butter. **You can do this step by hand and cut the butter in with a fork or a pastry cutter, but the food processor is infinitely easier!**
- Refrigerate the butter and flour mixture while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Chop up the kale into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle lemon juice over the kale and massage it into the kale a bit.
- In a skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until they are just golden brown and smell fragrant.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- While the oven heats up, remove the butter/flour mixture from the refrigerator. Mix in the kale, grated cheese, toasted pine nuts, and currants (if using). Reserve a small amount of the flaky sea salt and black pepper for topping, and mix the rest into the dough.
- Pour 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk over the mixture and toss gently with your hands to hydrate the dough evenly. Turn the dough out onto a counter or work surface. Using your hands, start bringing the shaggy mound of dough together, drizzling a little more buttermilk over it here and there if you see dry spots. You might need the additional 1/2 cup of buttermilk, but don’t add it all until you’ve mixed the dough a bit—often, it looks dry but will come together nicely.
- You want to bring the mixture together firmly but avoid mashing or pressing it down. Try to fold the mass of dough over itself and then turn it a quarter and repeat, even though it may seem a shaggy mess. It should take about 6 folds and turns to make a fairly well-incorporated ball of dough.
- Divide the dough into two pieces and press each piece gently into a flat, round disc about 7 inches in diameter. Lightly beat the egg and brush it over the the dough.
- Sprinkle the top of the dough with the remaining black pepper and flaky sea salt, and some more grated cheese if you like.
- Using a very sharp knife, slice each disc into 6 even triangles. Transfer the triangles to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake at 400° F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° F and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. The scones are finished when they are golden brown all over the surface.
Photo by Posie Harwood