Sunday, January 22, 2012

Whole Wheat Currant Scones

Although many scones have nearly turned into cookies these days, I'm a fan of the traditional, not-too-sweet variety. Creative flavors abound, which I both purchase and bake, but sometimes it's nice to go back to classics, the most traditional scones being currant scones. The simple flavor profile created by cream, butter, and currants is delicious, but the white flour traditionally used to make scones doesn't bring anything to the party in terms of nutrition or flavor, so I seek out scone recipes using whole grain flours. Whole wheat pastry flour gives these scones a wonderfully nutty flavor and light texture, a perfect contrast to sweet and chewy raisins or currants. And while cream lends an irresistible richness and decadence to scones, for pastries I plan on having for a regular weekday breakfast, I prefer the lightness and tang of buttermilk. Currants work best in this recipe, distributing tiny bits of flavor throughout the scone, but raisins or any other dried fruit you like (I recommend dried cherries or blueberries) will also work splendidly.

The next Saturday or Sunday morning you can have a little extra time, whip up a batch of these simple, flavorful scones and reward yourself with a hot breakfast fresh from the oven. If you don't have to share with too many people pop any leftovers in the freezer so you can treat yourself with a tasty breakfast any day of the week.

Whole Wheat Currant Scones
adapted from Bob's Red Mill
makes 8 scones

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2  teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2  teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup cold butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup currants or raisins

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Use an ungreased 10" x 15" baking pan.

2. In a bowl, combine whole wheat flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. With 2 knives or a pastry blender, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.

3. In a small bowl, beat egg with buttermilk to blend. Add egg mixture and raisins to flour mixture; stir just enough to moisten evenly. Scrape dough onto baking pan; pat into a 1" thick round. With a sharp knife, cut round into 8 wedges, leave in place.

4. Bake 30-35 minutes until browned. Cut or break scones into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

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