Lemon and Poppy Seed Scones

Here I am using a modification of the Milk Street recipe from Tandem Bakery’’s Briana Holt. These scones are not very sweet.


  • 227 grams (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 33 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoons table salt)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled (75 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons of grated lemon peel
  • 1 egg, beaten (optional)


  1. Heat the oven to 375°F with rack in the middle of the oven position. Line 1 rimmed baking sheets with kitchen parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk with the lemon juice and lemon peel.
  3. To a food processor, add about ½ of the flour mixture and scatter the butter over the top. Pulse until the butter is in large pea-sized pieces, 10 to 12 pulses. Transfer to the bowl with the remaining flour mixture.
  4. To the bowl of flour, pour in about ⅓ of the buttermilk mixture and toss just a few times with your hands, making sure to scrape along the bottom of the bowl, until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add the remaining buttermilk in 2 more additions, tossing after each. After the final addition of buttermilk, toss until no dry, floury bits remain. The mixture will be quite crumbly and will not form a cohesive dough.
  6. Lightly dust the counter with flour, turn the mixture out onto it, then give it a final toss. Gather it into a mound and briefly knead. It’s fine if the mixture is still somewhat crumbly.
  7. Gather the mound into a ball, then press firmly into a cohesive 5-inch disk about 1½ inches thick.
  8. Optional: Brush the tops of the disk lightly with beaten egg.
  9. Using a chef’s knife, (or bench scrapper) cut the disk in half, then cut each half into 3 wedges. Place 6 wedges on the prepared baking sheet, spaced evenly apart.
  10. Bake until the scones are deep golden brown, 27 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. If using a convection oven, you don’t need to rotate.
  11. Cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer directly to a rack and cool for at least another 5 minutes.
  12. Serve warm or at room temperature.


These are delicious hot as well. If you can find clotted cream, it is amazing with the scones.

If you don’t have a food processor, then scatter the butter over the the entire flour mixture and cut it in with a pastry cutter or fork. The butter should be pea sized.

Do not use frozen butter. It doesn’t work very well.

3 thoughts on “Lemon and Poppy Seed Scones

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