My brilliant, talented, and beautiful niece R moved into her dorm at Berkeley this past weekend. I wanted to send her off with something as sweet as she is, yet also, like R, health-conscious and a little unconventional. (OK, these scones aren’t quite what I’d call healthy, but I tried.) I love you R!
To make sourdough scones, I consulted recipes for buttermilk scones (from Tartine and King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking), substituting sourdough starter instead of buttermilk to contribute acidity and liquid (as well as a good proportion of flour) to the dough. The result was a lighter, moister, less crumbly scone than those typically found in coffee shops around here. Not as exceptional as R herself, but still pretty good.
Cranberry-Oat Sourdough Scones
Yield: 8 larger or 12 smaller scones
- Soak berries: 10 minutes
- Mix: 10 minutes
- Shape: 5 minutes
- Bake: 23 minutes
- 50 g dried cranberries
- 87 g white whole wheat flour
- 40 g oat flour
- 17 g nonfat milk powder
- 1.5 t. baking powder
- 3/8 t. baking soda
- 5/8 t. salt
- 50 g sugar
- 1/2 t. finely-grated lemon zest (optional)
- 113 g (one stick) cold unsalted butter
- 40 g rolled oats
- 340 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter
- milk and coarse sugar for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Cover the cranberries with warm water and soak for 10 minutes, then drain well.
- In the bowl of a food processor, place the flours, milk powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes and add to the food processor. Pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few larger (pea-sized) pieces of butter remaining.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in the oats and drained cranberries lightly with your fingers.
- Add the sourdough starter and mix quickly and lightly with your hands just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into it. The dough will be wet and sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured counter and pat it into a rectangle about 5×9 inches for larger scones, or about 4×11 inches for smaller ones.
- With a dough cutter, cut the dough into two rectangles (three for small scones), and each of those, on the diagonals, into four pieces.
- Place the scones to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake for about 23 minutes, until golden brown.