Tuesday, March 4, 2014

TWD: Buttermilk Scones with Orange Glaze

Panera is one of my favorite places to take the kids for an afternoon treat. Both of my kids love bread of any kind (as does their mama!) and Panera also has fresh coffee with refills. The kids munch on bagels, baguettes, or a pastry while I gulp down as much as coffee as I can. And I wonder why I get the shakes so much.

Anyway, one of my favorite treats at Panera are the orange scones. They are not too sweet and have a texture and flavor reminiscent of a fluffy buttermilk biscuit. The scone boasts flecks of freshly grated orange zest baked into the batter and is smothered in a magnificent orange glaze of which I would gladly eat a whole bowlful. A divine snack, indeed.

When I saw that the recipe for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie challenge was for buttermilk scones, I decided to try to pay homage to my favorite Panera treat by glamming these up a bit. I added some extra orange zest, a touch more sugar, and topped the baked scones with a delicious orange glaze while they were still slightly warm so that it was sure to melt into the surface of the scone. Delicious!

Like most scone recipes, this one came together quickly and had everyone eagerly awaiting their arrival to the breakfast table. The recipe indicated two different shaping methods for the scones - a more traditional wedge-shape and a "rolled scone". The rolled scones were rolled up and cut in a manner similar to cinnamon rolls. I had never heard of that particular shape for scones - so I gave it a whirl with half the dough. We served them slightly warm alongside a strawberry smoothie and they made a wonderful weekend breakfast. I am so glad that I amped the orange flavor up a bit - the flavor was incredible! They are just as delicious as the Panera scones - and I can make a dozen for about the same price a single scone would cost me at Panera. Paul thought the rolled scones tasted more delicious than the wedges because the glaze sunk into the folds, meaning more gooey glaze in every bite. His exact quote was: "Shape all your scones like this!" We'll see.

My culinary assistant for the day was so excited to help. She happily guarded the stand mixer (I was working on another bread recipe at the same time) while I whipped up the scone dough by hand. I think she's going to be a future little baker, just like her brother!

Buttermilk Scones with Orange Glaze
adapted from Baking with Julia

For the Scones:     
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (from about 2 medium oranges)

For the Topping:
2 ounces melted butter, for brushing
1/4 cup sugar (add a little orange zest for additional orange flavor)

For the Glaze:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Pinch of salt

To Make the Scones:
Position racks to divide oven into thirds and preheat to 425°F.  Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a fork.  Add butter pieces and work it into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Pour in 1 cup buttermilk and the zest, and mix until ingredients are just moistened.  If dough looks dry, add another tablespoon buttermilk.  Gather dough into a ball, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead briefly.  Cut dough in half.

To Make Triangular-Shaped Scones:
Roll one piece of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick circle that is 7 inches across.  Brush the dough with half of the melted butter, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar, and cut the circle into 6 triangles.  Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

To Make Rolled Scones:
Roll one piece of dough into a 12 inch long and 1/2 inch thick strip.  Spread with half of the melted butter and dust with 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Roll the strip up from a long side like a jelly roll; pinch seam closed and turn seam side down.  Cut the roll in half and cut each piece into six 1-inch-wide roll-ups.  Place cut side down on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving a little space between each.

Bake scones 10 minutes or until both tops and bottoms are golden.  Transfer to a rack to cool.

To Make the Glaze:
While the scones are cooling, whisk together all the ingredients for the glaze in a medium bowl. Once the scones are only slightly warm, top with the 1 tablespoon of the glaze, spreading with a small spoon so the glaze spreads all over the surface of the scone. Serve!


  1. What a cute culinary assistant!!!
    Your scones look beautiful!!!
    By all the ways, this recipe seems to be a great success!!

  2. mmmm, the extra orange and the glaze sounds delicious! Cue assistant you have there! ;)

  3. The orange glaze on the scones .....yummy. I added more orange zest than called for and yes they kind of elevated the taste. Next time orange glaze it is.
    Could I borrow your culinary assistant, please?

  4. Aw, your daughter is adorable! And I love the glaze you added to your scones!

  5. Your sous chef is precious! Great idea with the orange glaze. Shaping them into the rolled scone and drizzling with glaze makes them cinnamon-roll-esque! What a perfect union!

  6. glaze-how decadent! they look beautiful! i love that you let your daughter up on the counter-time to put her to work!!!

  7. The glaze sounds wonderful! Nice that you had help :)

  8. Love the photo of your assistant. And your tweaks to this recipe sound wonderful.

  9. Perfect looking scones! I loved these and can't imagine buying scones anymore! Great post, and I loved your pics.

  10. Mmmm... your scones sound divine! I too l like Panera.

  11. Orange glaze is exactly what this needed! Love that idea.
    Your daughter is a cutie.

  12. Your little girl is sooo sweet.
    I'm so glad you loved your orange scones. Well done, they are beautiful!

  13. That picture of Emma with the mixer is adorable!