3 cups flour
1/3 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup butter - a stick and a half
1 cup of buttermilk
6 oz of shredded cheddar
In a large bowl combine, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut butter into small cubes and add to dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender to cut butter into dry ingredients. Use may also use your hands to blend butter into dry ingredients. You are looking for what they call coarse meal consistency, which basically means no large chunks remain. We do not want the butter to melt, so if you've warm hands, use a pastry cutter. Add buttermilk and cheddar and mix until just combined.
When you take the dough out of the bowl, it will be crumbly. You will be tempted to knead it. Resist. You only want it to stick together. The more you work it, the tougher the scones will be. Less work=light, fluffy, delicious scones. More work=hard, heavy doorstops masquerading as scones.
Now you have a choice to make. Do you want wedges or some other shape? The choice is yours. I'll give directions for my two favorites.
For wedges: Dump onto a floured surface and divide dough in half. Use hands to pat one half into a circle, approximately 1/2" thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut into 8 wedges. Repeat with other half.
For trapezoids (like pictured): Dump onto a floured surface and pat entire batch into a large rectangle about 1/2" thick. Use pizza cutter to cut the rectangle into rows. Cut the rows on angles into small trapezoids or cut them straight for squares or rectangles. If going for trapezoids, you will end up with the most adorable little triangle-y shaped pieces.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on parchment lined baking sheets. Do not crowd as they expand during baking. Use two sheets. I bake them in two batches. It's worth the wait. They are magic.
BTW - You can leave the cheddar out for a super delicious plain scone and there is nothing wrong about that. In fact, I make them plain as often as I make them cheddar.