Sunday, April 15, 2012

Whole Wheat Apricot Scones with Flax Seeds and Oats

With the farmer's market returning to all its outdoor glory next week, my weekends of baking breakfasts are coming to an end. Once I can satiate my breakfast pastry cravings with my choice of treat from any number of vendors (a whole grain scone from Chris and Lori's Bakehouse being my most frequent choice), I turn my breakfast creativity away from muffins and scones and towards the savory. This scone recipe, which I've had bookmarked forever, is my last hurrah. I lightened the texture of the scone by substituting whole wheat pastry flour for regular whole wheat flour, and made my scones round instead of wedges, otherwise following the recipe faithfully. Just a little bit of butter and flax seeds make these scones surprisingly rich, with the honey and dried apricots imparting the perfect amount of sweetness. Like White House Honey Oat Muffins, the character of the honey really comes through in the recipe, complementing, but not overpowering, the apricots. If apricots aren't to your liking, feel free to substitute the dried fruit of your choice. Although I've loved my time baking all manner of sweet breakfast treats, I'm excited to move on to savory pursuits and sampling the delicious treats the Dane County Farmers' Market has to offer.

Whole Wheat Apricot Scones with Flax Seeds and Oats
adapted very slightly from Whole Foods Market
makes 12 scones

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces and well chilled
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
2/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk, more for brushing
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Put flour, oats, flax seeds, baking powder and salt into a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse again mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add apricots and repeat process.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, buttermilk, eggs and almond extract then pour in a constant stream into food processor while pulsing just until mixture is blended. If very dry, add another tablespoon of buttermilk. Dough will be a little sticky. Transfer dough to a well-floured surface and form into a 9-inch circle. Using a floured knife, cut dough into 12 wedges and transfer to a large baking sheet, arranging the scones 1 to 2 inches apart.

3. Brush scones with buttermilk and sprinkle them with sugar. Bake until cooked through and golden brown around the edges, about 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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