3 cups (450g) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp fine salt
80g unsalted butter, chilled (see tip)
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
250g fresh dates, pitted, roughly chopped
300ml buttermilk salted butter or jam and cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs, with no lumps remaining.
Add the sugar and chopped dates and toss them through roughly, using your hands.
Trickle half the buttermilk over the flour and, with a gentle touch, work it through using your fingertips. Pour the remaining buttermilk into the dough, incorporating it to mould the dough into a ball.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use the palms of your hands to flatten it to a 3cm thick round.
Sprinkle a little more flour on top, then cut the scones out using a round cutter or an upturned glass. Dip the cutter into the flour before cutting each scone – this will stop the scone from sticking and will encourage a better rise.
Space the scones out on the tray, leaving 4cm between each one. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve the scones warm with a slather of salted butter or copious amounts of jam and thick cream.
Take the butter out of the fridge to soften for 30 minutes before you begin so that you can rub it into the flour.
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A tribute to Australian farmers who are in the midst of one of the toughest droughts in a century, the stunning Farmer cookbook is the result of an inspiring collaboration of food lovers, producers, and chefs all over Australia. Sales of the book will help raise funds to support the struggling farmers of Australia.
Go here for more information.
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