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Sourdough Surprises: Scones

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Preamble: This post was originally published at 7am on Nov 20, but later in the day, I noticed a mistake and opened the post to edit. However, due to a technical error (read: my own mistake!), all the text, including the recipe, and pictures were erased! I've rewritten the post but cannot find the piece of paper I scribbled the recipe on so I have to leave it out for now. I'll put it in when I find it!

Update, Nov 27: Found the recipe! It appears at the bottom of the post.

Sourdough scones have been on my list of recipes to try for some time but I have been sitting on it and it took Sourdough Surprises to get me off my behind.
It was 10.56pm on Oct 24 and I was just getting ready to shut down the computer and go to bed when I remembered that I hadn't checked the challenge for November. When I saw what it would be, I immediately got my starter out of the fridge and fed it so that it would be bubbling the next morning and I could start on my scones post-haste.
Sourdough Surprises suggested two recipes: one with an overnight fermented dough, and the other, a quick one. I have used a non-sourdough scone recipe with success and I adapted it by including the starter.
I've used a process of flavouring the scones from Peter Reinhart. He adds the flavourings in a sort of lamination just like puff or danish pastry. This way, I can make one batch of scone dough, divide it and flavour them separately for two types of scones.
Sweet and savoury scones
After mixing up a batch of sourdough scone dough, flatten it out into a rectangle and do a trifold, like an envelope. Repeat the trifold three more times for a total of four trifolds.
To add flavourings, sprinkle on the ingredients before each trifold. This way, the flavourings are layered in and not mixed in from the start, which I think distributes them better. For my savoury scones, I used a mixture of nutritional yeast, which tastes like cheese, and chilli powder. Zingy!
Layer in the flavour
Check out the other blogs and their scones. I'm sure none of them pressed any Delete buttons by accident *sheepish look*

Basic Dough for Sourdough Scones
Makes 6-8 cutout scones

55g cold butter
65g all-purpose flour
50g pastry (low protein) flour (if not available, use all-purpose flour)
½ tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp fine salt or ½ tsp flaky salt
90g refreshed starter
50g buttermilk or soured milk, approximate

Place butter in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to harden.
Whisk the flours, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a mixing bowl.
Grate the frozen butter over the dry ingredients in the bowl through the large holes of a box grater. With a fork, toss the mixture together so the threads of butter are distributed evenly and coated with flour.
Add the starter and stir together with the fork. Add ¾ of the buttermilk or soured milk; stir until all the flour is hydrated and the dough forms a coarse ball. Add a bit more butter if necessary to bring the dough together. It will be quite wet.
Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface; dust the top of the dough with flour. With floured hands, press the dough into a rectangle about 2cm thick. Use a metal scraper to fold one third to the centre and the other third on top like a business letter.
Rotate the dough 90 degrees and dust more flour underneath. Press out again into a rectangle and do another trifold. Repeat this two more times for a total of four trifolds.
Note: To add flavourings, sprinkle on the ingredients before each trifold.
After the fourth folding, dust under and on top of the dough one final time, then roll or press out the dough to 1.5cm thick. Cut out into circles, squares or triangles. Press the scraps together and roll out to 2cm thick. Cut out as many pieces as possible. Place on an ungreased baking pan about 2cm apart. Let the scones rest for 15-30 minutes (if possible place the tray in the refrigerator).
Preheat the oven to the maximum. Transfer the tray to the oven and turn down the oven to 230°C. Bake for about 8 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 6-10 minutes, until the tops and bottoms are a golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.


  1. Great looking scones, Jane. When I first made scones I was fascinated by its delicious layered effect. I'm yet to try the sourdough version, must be delicious!

  2. Oh, these look so tender and flaky! Hope you find the recipe. I can so relate, I've got recipe scraps all over the house :)

  3. What a cool technique! I love nutritional yeast on my popcorn but I never think to use it anywhere else. Great idea! :)

  4. Oh no! Sorry for the technical difficulties, but I am so glad to still be able to see those delicious looking scones. YUM!!! Wonderful job and thanks for sourdoughing with us :)

  5. Oh, what a great idea to add the flavorings in by folding them in! Brilliant!! The savory ones sound like they were be nice and zingy, perfect next to some chili or soup!

  6. I love the look of these scones, the folding of flavouring into the dough is something new to me! Got to try this!


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