These scones were a technical disaster. Since I’ve spent much more of my life cooking, I approach baking with the same style of partially reading the recipe and casually following its methods. This resulted in forgetting to add the sugar and stuffing too many nuts and fruits into the batter. I DID end up adding the sugar the very last minute and they still turned out splendidly. Whenever you screw up, it’s still worth it to put ‘em in the oven and see what happens.
This is a common reason many amateur cooks avoid making: it’s too technical. But the science of baking is an obviously fascinating and rewarding craft. Once I get over my habit I promise to master some of its yummier products. While every recipe cannot be a visual masterpiece, these taste good.
Using Whole Grains
I started baking recently and immediately switched from refined white to whole grains. If you don’t use whole grains, I strongly suggest a taste test. With muffins, scones, and bread whole grains add more complexity to the flavor and texture, and are much better for you. I have found trial and error the best way to understand the differences in flavor and texture. I am really pleased with the combo of flours in this recipe. This is the same basic recipe I used when making the oat scones last month, but made lighter by using less spelt and adding in buckwheat.
If you want to give it a try, whole wheat, spelt, and amaranth are a good start. They can be used in combination with, or in place of all-purpose in most scone, muffin, or cookie recipes.
Almond and fig-filled whole wheat scones
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter (keep in the fridge until needed)
1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried figs
1/3 cup almonds, roasted at 325 for 15 minutes, then chopped coarsely
1/2 cup fresh fig jam
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Sift the flours into a medium bowl. Add the sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and stir. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork until it resembles bread crumbs. Add in the oats, dried figs, and almonds, mixing but making sure not to break up more than necessary.
Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Add all at once to the dry ingredients, and stir lightly and quickly with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened.
Flour a working surface and knead the dough a couple of times until it’s manageable. Cut the dough into two equal halves with a bench knife. Flatten each into circles of the same diameter. Spread the jam over the one circle up to 1/4 inch before the edge. Set the second circle on top of it. With your fingers, pinch the outer edges together so the jam is no longer exposed. Using the bench knife, cut divide the wheel into 12 triangles. Continue to flour the bench knife to keep from sticking. Once cut, flour the knife again and use it to scoop up the scones. Place on a cookie sheet.
Bake until the scones are puffed and golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. Place on a rack to cool.
1/3 pound fresh Black Mission figs, washed and haved lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup raw sugar
3/4 cup water
Place the water and sugar in a saucepan and set to medium-high. Once the sugar has melted, add the figs, lemon juice, and zest. Let simmer for 30 to 45, until the figs are soft and falling apart. Continue to add water as needed so the figs don’t burn. Cool completely.