Blueberry Sourdough Scones

In baking school I learned that freezing scones prior to baking makes the dough easier to cut and helps them retain their shape during baking. At home I learned that it’s also a great way to have freshly-baked scones for Sunday morning breakfast.

I baked these in my minimalist sometime-weekend-kitchen. By minimalist I mean a kitchen in a town whose one market doesn’t carry parchment paper… a kitchen whose oven temperature I can only guess at… where you make do with the ingredients you have… where fingers substitute for a pastry brush… where the ellipsis has free rein…. But I still have the best 25-year-old Robot Coupe food processor in the world. A food processor is not absolutely necessary, but it makes short work of cutting the butter into the dry ingredients.

The sourdough starter in these scones is more for flavor than leavening. I suggest letting your starter ferment a little past its peak to a more liquid consistency — this makes it easier to incorporate it into the dough. Mixing only to incorporation is important to avoid gluten development and maintain the scones’ crumbly texture.

I fresh used blueberries, but other berries, cherries, or chopped stone fruits would also be nice, and frozen works, too. Placing them in the bottom of the pan (which will become the top) rather than mixing it into the dough keeps fragile fruit from disintegrating in the mixing process. A concentration of fruit on top also gives a visual punch to the scones.

Blueberry Sourdough Scones

Yield: 8 scones

Time:

  • Mix: 10 minutes
  • Freeze : overnight
  • Cut and thaw: 30 minutes
  • Bake: about 30 minutes

Dough Ingredients:

  • 50 grams flour
  • 130 grams whole wheat flour
  • 6.8 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 1.8 grams (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 3.8 grams (5/8 teaspoon) salt
  • 50 grams brown sugar
  • 113 grams (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
  • 40 grams rolled oats
  • 50 grams half and half
  • 244 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter

Topping Ingredients:

  • 170 grams fresh or frozen blueberries or other fruit
  • one egg

Method:

  1. Line an 8-inch cake pan with lightly-buttered plastic wrap. Place the blueberries in the pan.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, place the flours, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Pulse them with the dry ingredients in the food processor until the largest pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Toss in the oats lightly with a spatula.
  5. Add the half and half and the starter and mix lightly with your hands until just barely incorporated.
  6. Press the dough into the pan over the berries.
  7. Cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap and freeze overnight, or for at least four hours.
  8. Unmold the frozen scone round. Use a sturdy knife to cut the round into 8 wedges.
  9. Transfer the scones to a buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet. Let them stand until slightly thawed, about 30 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.
  11. Make an egg wash by beating the egg together with a splash of water and a pinch of salt. Just before baking, brush the tops and sides of the scones lightly with the egg wash.
  12. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the scones are set and lightly browned.
  13. Enjoy while warm!

Post a comment » 31 Comments

  1. They look amazing!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Hmmm…what a way making the scone. Have yet tried making them with sourdough before. Looks as great. Hope you’re having a great week ahead.
    Blessings
    Kristy

  3. what a great idea! and I have all the ingredients on hand.

  4. what a great way of making scones! Never ever tried using sourdough starter..but it looks promising!

  5. Wow these look amazing and absolutely packed with bursting blueberries. I want to reach in and eat one now. Would be perfect for breakfast

  6. What a gorgeous way to make use of extra sourdough starter – will definitely try these and use your freezing method so I have them fresh for breakfast!

  7. Wow, Susan, these look fabulously good! I love that they can be made ahead of time – who wants to bake before eating breakfast? I’d love to try this recipe; I’ve been slack in my bread baking this year but these make me want to head right into the kitchen to start again.

  8. Again a brilliant idea to use the leftover sourdough starter (yesterday i made your granola bars and used all of my starter…). And thanks for a recipe where you can prepare in the evening and bake in the morning – that makes our life easier. One of my bread-baking-lessons-learned is to really refresh the sourdough starter properly (minimum feed 3 times before using it) which makes quantities i cannot use for bread baking…

  9. Quite a unique way of making scones!
    And they look delicious :)

  10. Couldn’t resist making these…they were fantastic!
    Thanks for a wonderful make-ahead recipe and great way to use extra starter.
    :^) breadsong

  11. I am definitely making these and surprising my blueberry-addict husband!

    great take on scones… loved it!

  12. What a wonderful breakfast these would make… going to try them soon, thrilled as it will be the first time I taste scones.

  13. They look gorgeous. just wondering if you could do without the half and half because over here it’s a problem finding.
    Thanks
    Wen

  14. Wen: yes, you could substitute cream, or half milk/half cream.

  15. I made these today with fresh cherries – delicious!

  16. I think you should try this in Maine with fresh wild berries in a truly minimalist kitchen. At Curtis’ house we use the wood stove and the freezer is smaller than a bread box. He does also have a super fancy Viking range there but it requires starting the generator. Here’hoping to see you on an island in Maine one of these summers. Best to you, Sally

  17. I’ll be baking these amazing scones, too, with frozen blackberries, hope they’ll work in the recipe. I’m fascinated by the whole freezer-to-oven process. I hope to be bragging about the results real soon. Thank you for this ingenious recipe, and with the sourdough, too. How lovely! I

  18. hi Susan, i made these scones today, and they were gone in no time! very delicious. I substituted the half and half with soy milk with butter, and they work fine. Not too sweet which i like, but nice texture, love the sour dough idea! thank you susan! x

  19. i am going to make them again! :)

  20. Thanks for this recipe. These were amazing! I made them with fresh blackberries.

  21. Thanks everyone — to those who made them, I’m glad you liked the recipe, and I am going to try some of your modifications. Blackberries, yes!

  22. The scones look great. Where would I find the recipe for the sourdough starter? I’ve never used a starter and am feeling a bit intimidated by the idea but want to give it a try.

  23. Beth, here’s my method for making a starter from scratch: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/13/raising-a-starter/

  24. We love sourdough … these must be delicious!

  25. Nice trick putting the fruit in the pan and flipping!

  26. I would like to make a rye sourdough scone like this one. Do you think subbing all the whole wheat for rye would give similar texture result? Maybe just 50% rye 50% whole wheat?

    Would you use a rye starter?

  27. The texture of these is out of this world, but next time I make these I’m doubling the sugar. I never thought I would ever say that about anything!!

  28. [...] 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 [...]

  29. I can’t stop making these. We’ve had them every morning for breakfast for at least a month and a half. A few suggestions, though:

    1. Whole wheat pastry flour makes these unbelievably fluffy and delicious.

    2. For maximum crispiness, I drop these onto a pan like biscuits (fruit mixed in), and sprinkle a little sugar on top, sans egg wash.

    3. So far, pineapple ginger has been my favorite, closely followed by mixed berry.

    4. I use 60 grams of sugar in the batter, up from 50.

  30. Has anyone converted the weight measurements into american cups and teaspoons?

  31. Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely useful information specially the remaining
    part :) I take care of such information much.
    I used to be seeking this certain information for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

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