Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sourdough Surprises #8 - Scones

After last month's sourdough-starter-scare, I've been nervous about using my starter. I've been watching it and feeding it, trying to make sure it stays nice and healthy... but I've still been a little worried.

But then the latest Sourdough Surprises challenge was announced, and it was scones. Umm... yum! Fear be gone, let's get to sourdough-ing!

I started by making one of the two recipes that was linked on the challenge announcement (this one, from Sourdough Diva).

This is a really good basic scone recipe, but it's just that. Basic. It was tasty with jam. Or with butter. Or with honey. Successful recipe, but best as a base for something.

Which left me wanting to try again... to find a sourdough scone that could stand alone.  And I absolutely found it in this delicious looking recipe for vanilla almond scones.  Except since little man is allergic to nuts, I substituted dried cranberries for the nuts.

The dough comes together super easily - combine the dry ingredients, cut in the butter, then use the sourdough starter as the liquid to bring the dough together. I needed a few tablespoons of (coconut) milk to help me out, since the dough was pretty dry. But as soon as it came together, I stopped kneading (don't want to over-mix!), pressed out my dough and cut it into shape.

These baked up really well. And with the vanilla in the dough, as well as the milk/vanilla mixture brushed on top, the scent of vanilla was really mouth-watering!

And the best part was the taste. Everyone loved these - little man gobbled his up, little miss asked for seconds, and daddy and I agreed that these are a definite make-again!

So what kind of scones did you make? Link up your post and show us the deliciousness!

Cranberry Vanilla Sourdough Scones
(only slightly adapted from four dog fig farm)

1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cold butter cut into small cubes
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 tablespoon vanilla + 1 teaspoon for topping
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 - 2 tablespoon of milk or egg for tops
coarse sugar for tops

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients.  Add in the cubes of butter and cut in with a pastry blender or a knife (or your fingertips) until the mixture starts to hold together when pressed.
Add 1 tablespoon vanilla to the sourdough starter, then add the starter to the dry ingredients and mix lightly so that it forms a soft dough. Gently fold in the dried cranberries.  The key to scones is not to mix too much.  The ingredients should remain as separate as possible while still holding together.  If the mixture seems too dry, add a teaspoon of milk or water.  Repeat as necessary.  (I needed about three teaspoons of milk to make my batter come together well.)
On a lightly floured board, pat dough into a rectangle about a half-inch thick.  Cut into eight squares and place on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.  Brush on milk or egg (mixed with the remaining tsp of vanilla) and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the tops turn golden.


  1. I have never tried scones made with sourdough...what an unique recipe! They sure look very delicious!

  2. Mmm, all that vanilla is making my mouth water. They look awesome Shelley!

  3. These look so delicious! Love the combination of vanilla and cranberry, I bet they were so tasty!

  4. Vanilla (and more than a tablespoon of it! Yum!) and dried cranberries ... can't go wrong there! So much fun baking with you guys :D

  5. Your scones look beautiful, Shelley. Such a lovely crumb & the flavours sound heavenly. I'm so glad your starter is okay! Unfortunately, my scones were a bit of a fail, but I'm going to try again. :)

  6. I want to try your scones for breakfast, but I'm not sure if I should use discarded starter, or fed starter. Since there is no wait/rise time indicated in the recipe, I'm not sure if it matters, but thought I'd ask!

    1. You can actually use either! Especially if your starter is regularly fed and pretty healthy. If it's been in the fridge for more than a couple of weeks, I'd say refresh it first, but otherwise, discard will work perfectly! Please let me know how they come out!!

    2. I used discarded starter and they came delicious! I must admit I added chocolate chips which was a nice compliment to the cranberries. I used part whole wheat flour which (I think) caused them to be a little dry. Next time, I'd add a touch of milk to offset. I'm trying your english muffin recipe for breakfast today! Thanks for the great posts!


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