Tag Archives: scones

Buttery Buttermilk Scones and Sourdough Disasters


Given the choice, I usually like to start with the bad news. I won’t bore you with my sad story, though, so today I’ll start with the good stuff!

See those little brown peaks on the surface of these scones? Those are crispy mountains of buttery flavor and beneath them are melt-in-your-mouth soft, crumbly centers. All that texture and flavor came from only a small amount of butter and a generous glug of buttermilk!

I don’t know what inspired me to buy buttermilk the other day but once it was in the fridge I had to find something to do with it. While scones may not be the obvious application I think they are my new reason to buy buttermilk. As a bath for chew oats and the main liquid ingredient in the scone batter, buttermilk is a winner with all it’s tangy richness.

This was a totally spontaneous baking foray and I’m very happy with how it turned out. I think I’ll be making these scones over and over again with different mix-in combinations. Cherry chocolate chip is on the horizon!


Buttermilk Scones with Dates

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2-4 tablespoons agave nectar
About 6 medjool dates, chopped

Combine oats and buttermilk in a medium-sized bowl and leave in the fridge for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Thoroughly mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add butter in small pieces and cut it into the flour mixture using a pastry blender (two knives or a wire whisk work too).
Stir chopped dates and agave (to taste, for desired sweetness) into the buttermilk and oats (you could also add the dates at the beginning of the soak time to soften them up).
Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just blended. You might need to add a splash of milk to moisten things up (I did).
Spoon the batter onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 425 F. for 12-15 minutes, or until your scones have little brown peaks on top.

I highly recommend eating one of these as soon as you take them out of the oven for the maximum buttery goodness!

And now for the tragedy.


I had a major screw up in my baking few mornings ago. I blame it on the 6 am body pump class that exhausted me to the point that I could not function normally for the rest of the day. I returned from class, ate a hearty cereal, yogurt, and fruit breakfast (of course there was coffee involved too), and prepared to make something with my happy, well-fed sourdough starter.

I have been feeding my starter the night before baking with it. I mix up the sour contents of the jar in the back of my fridge and pour them into the GIANT bowl (with quite a history that I’ll get to later). Then, per my starter’s parent’s directions, I add a cup of all-purpose flour and a cup of water. After mixing thoroughly with a whisk, plastic wrap and a tea towel go on top of the bowl and I stash it away in a corner of the kitchen for the night. In the morning a cup of this mixture goes towards baking and the rest (or whatever fits in the jar) goes back in the fridge. This method has been working well for me.

I fed my starter properly on the night before the incident but the next morning I skipped a step. I was so absorbed in weighing my flour and testing the water temperature that I completely forgot to remove all but one cup of the starter to save for future baking. My entire batch of starter was half-blended with white, wheat, and rye flour plus a dash of olive oil and some water before I realized what I’d done. It’s a good thing no one was around to hear me cry.


I woefully slopped some dough in my starter jar, just in case it was salvageable. So far, that dough hunk’s future looks promising. I fed it a cup of water and half a cup of all purpose flour, then filled my jar and used the rest to make pizza crust last night. The crust rose beautifully and tasted fantastic! I’m crossing my fingers for my starter’s future.


Filed under Bread, other goodies

Spicy banana bran scones (vegan!)


Just some scones, hangin out on deck.


After my oven difficulties while baking muffins the other day, I had to give baking on the boat another go as soon as possible. This morning, as we pitched and rolled at anchor in choppy Newport harbor, I searched for inspiration in my cookbooks and recipe notes.
What had I been meaning to bake before we left? Oh yeah, scones! Now where was that recipe? Hmmm, kinda boring. How could I spice these up? Some spices, perhaps? I looked to one of my favorite unusual cookie recipes for ideas. I’m sure I’ll be posting about these cookies eventually. They’re vegan oatmeal cookies that use banana and all kinds of yummy spices, making them taste a bit like indian food in oatmeal cookie form.
The recipe I wanted to spice up was for Banana Bran Scones. I love the idea of incorporating banana into a scone and oat bran is a breakfast staple in my kitchen. Without messing with those two ingredients, I played around with the recipe to make it a little more exciting! Unlike my last oven experiment, the result was not disappointing. (To be fair, the Pear Ricotta Muffins were really, really tasty after they’d firmed up a bit and I will be making them again!)
These scones are so much better than I expected them to be. I’m kind of in love with them. They’re just the right amount of sweet for a scone. They’re hearty without being dense and buttery, as scones can be. The banana is incredible. Using a really ripe banana makes the flavor so strong and sweet it almost seems artificial. I love the little flecks of un-mashed fruit here and there. Then there’s the spices! I added most of the repertoire from my favorite oatmeal cookies. I think cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger go really well with banana and raisins. which I threw in at the last minute. This was also an opportunity to give coconut oil another try. I’ve been experimenting with it and I’m really happy with how it worked in this recipe. There is a hint of coconut flavor in the baked scones and they maintain their scone texture without the butter.


Do yourself a favor and make a double batch. They go fast!

Featured on Baking is Hot

Spicy Banana Bran Scones
Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 8 scones

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ginger, and allspice*
1 tablespoon powdered soy milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter/margarine)
3/4 cup mashed, ripe banana
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon vinegar
A handful of raisins

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (I used the oven timer this time to make sure it heated up!)

Mash banana and sugar together in a small bowl. Let stand while you prepare other ingredients.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices, and powdered soy milk.
Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over very, very low heat. You can also submerge the jar of oil in hot water to soften it or use whatever softening method you prefer.
Allow the oil to cool slightly, then pour it into the flour mixture, blending with a pastry blender, 2 knives, or a whisk (a whisk worked great for me).
Add vinegar and water to the banana.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Pour banana into flour mixture and stir vigorously to combine, adding the handful of raisins as you do. Dough will be more like a batter than a biscuit dough.
Place dough, in approximately 1/3 cup scoops, on an oiled or otherwise nonstick cookie sheet. You may want to flatten and shape each scoop into round, biscuit-like shapes.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.

*I wanted to use cardamom, since I think it’s actually the star spice in the oatmeal cookies, but I couldn’t find it. I must have hidden it away in the boat somewhere. I subbed allspice but use cardamom if you have it!


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