Cranberry Buttermilk Scones
3 C. all-purpose flour
1/3 C. sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 C. dried cranberries
About 1 C. buttermilk
1 t. grated lemon peel (zest), colored part only
For brushing: About 1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
For dusting: 1/4 cup sugar
Position oven racks to divide oven into thirds. Preheat oven to 425°F.
In medium bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together with fork or whisk. Add cold butter pieces and, using fingertips or pastry blender or 2 knives, work butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. It's OK if some largish pieces of butter remain; they'll add flakiness.
Toss in cranberries. Pour in 1 cup buttermilk and add zest; mix with fork only until ingredients are just moistened. You'll have soft dough with a rough look. If dough looks dry, add another tablespoon buttermilk. Gather dough into ball, pressing it gently so it holds together. Turn out onto large, lightly floured work surface and knead very briefly - a dozen turns should do it. It might be messy the first 2 turns, but it will come together nicely after that. Cut dough in half.
Roll 1 piece of dough into 1/2-inch-thick circle about 7 inches across. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons sugar. Cut into 6 triangles. Place on ungreased baking sheet and set aside while you roll out rest of dough and cut in same manner.
Bake 10-12 minutes (tops and bottoms should be golden), shifting baking sheet from bottom to top and from top to bottom halfway through baking. Transfer scones to rack to cool slightly. These are best served warm but are just fine at room temperature. If you aren't going to eat them the day they're baked, wrap airtight and freeze up to 1 month. To reheat, defrost, then place on baking sheet and heat 5 minutes in 350° F. oven.
Yield: 12 scones
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