Here is a recipe I started making in the early ’90s, and people have raved about it every time. I originally got the recipe from a restaurant that has long since closed — the Surrogate Hostess — but more recently I found the recipe in The Seattle Classic Cookbook from the Junior League of Seattle.
Yields 16 large scones
7¼ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
2¾ cups buttermilk
1 cup currants (optional)
Preheat oven to 450° F.
Blend flour, soda, salt, and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles cornmeal. (You may do this with a pastry knife or food processor; I prefer the latter just because it is faster, although I then need to wash another bowl.)
Divide dough in half, and shape each half into fairly smooth rounds approximately ¾-inch think. Be careful not to overwork the dough or it will become tough. Cut each circle into 8 wedges.
Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.