- 2 c (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a lower-protein brand
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup currants (optional)
- 1 cup heavy cream
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl or the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Whisk together or process with six 1-second pulses.
If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingertips and quickly cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps. If using a food processor, remove the cover and distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients. Cover and process with twelve 1-second pulses. Add the currants and quickly mix in or pulse one more time. Transfer the dough to a large bowl.
Stir in the heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until the dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
Transfer the dough and all dry flour bits to a countertop and knead the dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Form the dough into a disk and cut the scones into 8 wedges (a bench scraper works great for this). Place the wedges on an ungreased baking sheet. (the baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.)
Bake until the scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
NOTES: This recipe comes together quicker and makes a more tender scone when made in a food processor.
Before you bake, consider the weather. I've found that this recipe is especially sensitive to the humidity levels in the air. If it's very dry out, you may want to increase the cream by up to a tablespoon or two - just go by touch. You don't want to make the dough soggy, but you do want it to hold together.