3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold buttermilk, milk or cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons turbinado or coarse decorating sugar
Heat oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly. If you'd like to add any flavorings to your scones, it's best to add it now.
Stir in the buttermilk just until incorporated; dough will be crumbly and look dry. Knead in bowl a few times to bring dough together into a single mass.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press into a circle roughly 7 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Cut dough into 8 wedges and place wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Brush wedges with the cream and sprinkle over the turbinado sugar. Bake on center rack of preheated oven until golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove scones to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 8 servings.