This recipe has been submitted to YeastSpotting on 9/6/2012.
I never made scones before. I tasted scones, I saw many pictures of them, but it never occurred to me that I can make my own. Don’t know why. I gave up on explaining my motivations because I simply don’t know anymore. Maybe the ones I tried didn’t make much of an impression on me.
Turns out my sconeless life was a big miss. Because if scones are supposed to turn out that good every time you bake them at home, then sign me up! And did I mention they are super easy to make?
I’ve been looking for recipes that would allow me to get rid of the sourdough starter, which you are supposed to discard a large portion of when refreshing. As usual, wildyeastblog.com came to the rescue. I found this recipe, which looked very promising. There were several things I liked about it — small amount of sugar, use of whole wheat and rolled oats, and addition of the sourdough starter as the flavor enhancer.
Things were looking up until I discovered I was out of rolled oats. And here is how it all went into an entirely different direction. I decided to substitute coconut flakes for oats. I had just the right amount of shredded coconut. Then I thought, if I add coconut flakes, might as well try coconut oil instead of butter. I’ve read many wonderful things about usage of coconut oil in place of butter, and how it’s being used in commercially baked cookies and other goods for both flavor and excellent texture, and I’ve been wanting to give it a try for a while. Finally, having experimented with bread lately, I wanted to try some recipes with spelt. Spelt is a great crumbling agent and its taste is sweeter and milder than that one of whole wheat.
Result? Delicate, fine crumb, slightly crunchy on the outside and melt in your mouth inside scones. They don’t disintegrate on contact, retain their shape quite well, yet they aren’t heavy, and they look great. And, oh, the sourdough just slightly changes their flavor from straight forward and somewhat dull (typical for ordinary scones) to complex and elegant. Trust me, you want to try these!
I imagine these scones will do wonderfully well with raspberries, strawberries, currants, soaked raisins, chopped nectarines or peaches, blackberries — the sky is the limit. Here is the what and how, for my batch:
Spelt Blueberry Scones with Coconut
Makes 8 large scones
- 2 cups (200 g) whole spelt flour (I used Arrowhead Mills)
- 1/2 cup (50 g) all purpose unbleached flour
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup (50 g) shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (120 g) coconut oil
- slightly less than 1 cup (200 g) mature liquid sourdough starter
- about 1 pint of fresh or frozen blueberries, or just enough to cover the bottom of a pie pan
You will need a 8″ or 9″ size pie or tart pan and plastic wrap
Line the bottom of a pie pan with plastic wrap. Arrange blueberries on the bottom in one layer. Set aside
Mix spelt flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and shredded coconut together. Add brown sugar and crumble it well, rubbing it into the flour mix.
Add coconut oil and quickly work it into the flour mix with your fingers. Don’t knead and don’t mash, just incorporate the oil as much as you can until evenly distributed.
Finally add the sourdough. Work it in lightly with a wooden spoon or your fingers, until just combined. We are trying to prevent gluten development as much as possible.
Press the dough onto the blueberries, forming an even crust.
Cover the crust with plastic sheet and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
30 minutes before baking, remove the pie pan from the freezer, and preheat the oven to 400F.
Remove the scones from the pie pan, discard the plastic. Cut the dough into 8 scones, much like pizza.
Arrange the scones on a parchment or a greased baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and blueberries are shriveled and leaky. If desired (I did), dust the still warm scones with tiny bit of powdered sugar, just for cosmetic reasons.
Cool on a rack until manageable and enjoy.