Is Buttermilk Or Cream Better For Scones?

When it comes to baking scones, there are a variety of ingredients you can use, from plain flour to fancy toppings like fruit or nuts. But two of the most common liquid ingredients in scone recipes are buttermilk and cream. These two both have unique properties that can affect the texture and taste of the resulting scone. But which one is better? In this article, we’ll explore the differences between buttermilk and cream when it comes to making scones so that you can decide which one you prefer.

Key Takeaway
Buttermilk is better for scones because it produces a tender and moist crumb while also adding a tangy flavor. Cream can produce a denser and richer texture, but it may also make the scones too heavy and cloying. Ultimately, it depends on personal preference and the recipe being used.

The science behind buttermilk and cream

When it comes to baking scones, the choice of whether to use buttermilk or cream can have a significant effect on the final outcome. But what is the reason behind this? It all comes down to the science behind these two ingredients.

Buttermilk is a sour liquid that results from the process of churning butter from cream. It contains lactic acid, which reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide gas. This gas helps the dough to rise and results in a light and fluffy texture. On the other hand, cream has a higher fat content than buttermilk, which results in a softer and more tender texture when incorporated into scones. However, the lack of acid in cream means that it cannot provide the same leavening effect as buttermilk. Ultimately, it depends on what texture you are aiming for in your scones, as both buttermilk and cream can produce delicious results.

Understanding the impact of acidity

When it comes to baking scones, it’s important to understand the impact of acidity in your recipe. Buttermilk is a popular ingredient in scones because it adds a tangy flavor and helps create a tender, flaky texture. This is due to the acidic nature of buttermilk, which reacts with the baking powder in your recipe to create carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles help to leaven your scones, making them light and airy.

On the other hand, cream is a less acidic option for scone recipes. While it can also help create a tender texture, it won’t have the same leavening effect as buttermilk. However, it can add richness and flavor to your scones, particularly if you use a high-quality heavy cream. Ultimately, whether you choose buttermilk or cream for your scones will depend on the desired flavor and texture you want to achieve.

The role of fats and oils in scone recipes

The role of fats and oils in scone recipes is essential, as they lend the pastry its signature richness and flakiness. Most scone recipes contain a type of fat, such as butter or vegetable shortening, which works to coat the flour particles and prevent the development of too much gluten. This results in a delicate, crumbly texture that is prized in traditional British-style scones.

The type of fat you choose can also affect the flavour of your scones. For instance, butter adds a rich, creamy taste to the pastry, while vegetable shortening results in a more neutral flavour profile. Some bakers even use lard or bacon fat in their scones for a unique savoury twist. Ultimately, the fat you choose will depend on your personal taste preferences and the type of scone you are making. Regardless of which fat you choose, it should be cold and cut into small pieces before being incorporated into the dough to guarantee a flaky, tender scone.

Taste testing: buttermilk vs cream scones

In order to determine whether buttermilk or cream is better for scones, a taste test was conducted. The scones were prepared using the same recipe, with the only difference being the use of either buttermilk or cream. The taste test was conducted by a group of individuals who were blind to which scone was made with which ingredient.

Upon tasting the scones, the group was split on their preference. Some found the scones made with buttermilk to be slightly tangier and more moist, while others preferred the cream scones for their richer, more buttery flavor. Overall, the taste test did not provide a clear winner in the debate of buttermilk vs cream for scones. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and the desired flavor and texture for your scones.

Tips for baking the perfect scones

Baking the perfect scones can be tricky, but with a few helpful tips, you can master the art of making delicious scones. Firstly, it’s important to handle the dough as little as possible to avoid tough and dry scones. Use a light touch to mix the ingredients and knead the dough gently.

Next, ensure that all your ingredients are chilled, including the butter and buttermilk or cream. This will help to keep the butter from melting too quickly and resulting in flat scones. When cutting out the scones, use sharp-edged cutters and do not twist them as this will seal the edges and inhibit their rise. Finally, bake the scones in a preheated oven at a high temperature to ensure the proper rise and crispiness of the exterior. With these tips, you’ll be able to bake perfect scones every time.

Using buttermilk and cream in other recipes

Using buttermilk and cream in other recipes is an excellent way to explore the diversity of flavors and textures. Both the ingredients have different properties and can be used for various purposes. Buttermilk is an acidic ingredient that adds tanginess and acidity to a recipe. It is often used in baking to tenderize the dough and enhance the overall flavor of the recipe. Buttermilk can be used in many recipes such as pancakes, biscuits, cakes, and marinades.

On the other hand, cream is a rich ingredient that can add creaminess and a silky smooth texture to the recipes. It is perfect for creating a velvety texture in soups and sauces. Cream goes well with savory dishes such as pasta, gratins, and stews and can also be used in desserts like ice creams, custards, and whipped cream. Whether it is Buttermilk or Cream, both the ingredients have their unique set of properties that are worth exploring in other recipes.

Making an informed decision for your scone recipe

When it comes to making scones, choosing between buttermilk and cream can seem overwhelming. However, with a few key factors in mind, you can make an informed decision for your recipe.

First and foremost, consider the desired texture and flavor of your scones. Buttermilk will give your scones a tangy flavor and a slightly denser texture, while cream will yield a richer, more tender crumb. Additionally, think about the other ingredients in your recipe – if you’re using acidic fruits or baking powder, buttermilk may work better to balance out the flavors. On the other hand, cream may be the way to go if you want a truly indulgent treat. Ultimately, the choice between buttermilk and cream comes down to personal preference, so experiment with both options to find your perfect scone recipe.

The Bottom Line

After conducting various experiments and analyzing the results, we can confidently say that buttermilk is the better choice for making scones. It provides the necessary acidity which helps in activating the baking powder and creating a tender crumb. Also, the tanginess of buttermilk adds a subtle flavor that complements the sweetness of the scone.

While cream does make for a richer and denser texture in scones, it lacks the tangy flavor and acidity needed for the perfect scone. However, it can be used in combination with buttermilk to add more richness to the scones. Ultimately, the choice between buttermilk and cream depends on individual preference, but for the perfect, traditional scone, buttermilk remains the ideal choice.

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