My parents met in Ireland where they grew up, brown bread and scones were part of their regular diet, Growing up, my Mom made scones once a week and my brothers used to have a contest to see who could eat the most (warm, with butter and my mom's homemade jam - the best !) before the bus came down our street for school!
A few variations...if you like sweet scones (the American way) add 2 TBSP. of sugar to the flour before the wet mixture is added to it. And/or - if you like a healthier variety, use 4 cups of whole wheat flour, or any combination of white and wheat as long as you have 4 cups total. I have also added a cup of oats or wheat germ instead of one cup flour, also a great chewy variety ! AND you can create a fruity scone with a cup of berries, raisins, cranberries, etc!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 TBSP. butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Mix all dry ingredients together. Add any dried fruit or sugar you'd like (optional.) Cut butter into dry mixture in small chunks, break up into smaller pieces with a pastry cutter or crush butter into the flour by hand, until it is crumbly. Make a small hole in the middle of dry mixture and pour buttermilk and egg into the center of dry food. Use a fork to mix all ingredients together starting in the middle and slowly outward to get the dry flour moist. Most of the mixture will be in a big ball in the center of the bowl. When this gets too hard to mix with a fork, use your hands to knead the last crumbs into a loose ball, but do not over knead! As soon as most of the ball has formed, put the dough ball onto a greased cookie sheet. Simply spread the dough out by hand just until it is about half an inch thick. (Put a little flour on your hands if it is sticky.) Use a cookie cutter or a knife to cut into circles, triangles or whatever you like!
HINT: The scones should not be bigger than 2' X 2" or they won't cook well. The mixture of the buttermilk and the soda is what makes these rise. The sooner you get them into the oven, not spending a lot of time kneading, mixing, or cutting, the lighter scone you'll have.
Bake in the 400 oven for 10-12 minutes. Check them by taking the biggest one out, turn over and see if it's formed a crust on the bottom.
Eat SOON with your favorite toppings or have them the next day. Cut in half and they are good toasted! They also freeze well!