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
- Mix: 10 minutes
- Freeze : overnight
- Cut and thaw: 30 minutes
- Bake: about 30 minutes
- 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
- 170 grams fresh or frozen blueberries or other fruit
- one egg
- Line an 8-inch cake pan with lightly-buttered plastic wrap. Place the blueberries in the pan.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Toss in the oats lightly with a spatula.
- Add the half and half and the starter and mix lightly with your hands until just barely incorporated.
- Press the dough into the pan over the berries.
- Cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap and freeze overnight, or for at least four hours.
- Unmold the frozen scone round. Use a sturdy knife to cut the round into 8 wedges.
- Transfer the scones to a buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet. Let them stand until slightly thawed, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.
- 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.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the scones are set and lightly browned.
- Enjoy while warm!
They look amazing!
They look yummy!!!
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.
what a great idea! and I have all the ingredients on hand.
Grishma @ZaikaZabardast says
what a great way of making scones! Never ever tried using sourdough starter..but it looks promising!
Wow these look amazing and absolutely packed with bursting blueberries. I want to reach in and eat one now. Would be perfect for breakfast
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!
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.
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…
Quite a unique way of making scones!
And they look delicious 🙂
Couldn’t resist making these…they were fantastic!
Thanks for a wonderful make-ahead recipe and great way to use extra starter.
I am definitely making these and surprising my blueberry-addict husband!
great take on scones… loved it!
My Italian Smörgåsbord (Aka Barbara) says
What a wonderful breakfast these would make… going to try them soon, thrilled as it will be the first time I taste scones.
They look gorgeous. just wondering if you could do without the half and half because over here it’s a problem finding.
Wen: yes, you could substitute cream, or half milk/half cream.
I made these today with fresh cherries – delicious!
Sal sal says
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
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
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
i am going to make them again! 🙂
Thanks for this recipe. These were amazing! I made them with fresh blackberries.
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!
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.
Beth, here’s my method for making a starter from scratch: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/13/raising-a-starter/
The Lucky Wife/Anne says
We love sourdough … these must be delicious!
meatballs & milkshakes says
Nice trick putting the fruit in the pan and flipping!
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?
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!!
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.
Has anyone converted the weight measurements into american cups and teaspoons?
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What a great recipe to use up all left over sourdough!
From yesterday’s frozen dough we finished up all this morning and I just made two more batches with lemon + cranberry and save them in freezer for the next week. I used wholewheat pastry flour and non fat milk and add 100 gram Greek yogurt and vanilla extract additionally.
Thank you so much. It’s the best scone.
Henry Scharf says
I know I’m several years late, but thought the world would wanna know this recipe still works 🙂 I used buttermilk instead of half and half with terrific results. Fits with the light sourness of the starter well.
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I just made these. I skipped the freezing part since I wanted them now and just pressed Frozen blueberries into the top and then sliced them and baked them. Best ever blueberry scones and so easy too. I didn’t have a big enough food processor so I just mixed it by hand. I love how many of your recipes use copious amounts of starter which I have always on hand. I used more than 100% hydration whole-wheat starter.
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These are phenomenal!! We like them with the 50grams of sugar. Made with frozen blueberries and tart dehydrated cherries. Also made an almond glaze for those who wanted more sugar involved 😉 Thank you for this great recipe!! A true keeper and a wonderful way to use starter!
lim Keow Peh says
May i know what is “50g half & half ” in the recipe?
Shir Har-Gil says
You can substitute the half & half with 25g milk + 25g cream
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Will Charles says
they look amazing! Definitely have to try making these with the kids this weekend. Thanks for sharing!
I made theses with a wholewheat sourdough starter and would not recommend. Turned out just tasting like flour.
It seems delicious. I’ll give it a try on the weekend. Thanks for sharing.
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I made these for a meeting at work this morning. They were amazing!
These are wonderfully tasty… I only had frozen raspberries but still worked out.
Just wondering how I could get more rise?
This recipe had real potential, but the final product was only so-so. The addition of whole wheat flour gave the scones a bit of unwelcome denseness, so it would’ve been better to just use the starter & all purpose flour. I also sprinkled to scones with coarse sugar for added sweetness before putting them in the oven, rotated the baking sheet at 15 minutes & pulled them from the oven to cool right at 30 minutes. The baking time is right as the scones are definitely not dry, so that is one positive aspect of this recipe.