Sunday, March 18, 2012

Seeded Whole Wheat Scones

I had no idea how much I would like the scones when I first stumbled across the recipe. I've made lots of scones in my day, including many whole wheat ones, and I thought these would be, like most I've made, tasty and nutritious, but not extraordinary. I was so very happy for that assumption to be proven wrong. They have the slight sweetness and tender crumb common to most of my scones, but the mix of seeds performs an alchemy that makes these scones unbelievably delicious. While nuts get all the glory, seeds remain tragically underutilized in baked goods, but these scones are doing their part toward remedying the situation. While I've been happily chowing down on these for breakfast, their savory qualities would also make them a wonderful companion to soups and salads. If you feel the need to gild the lily, a healthy slathering of butter would not be unwelcome, but they definitely stand on their own, as any good pastry should. More than any other baked good I've made in recently memory, I urge you to try this unique and unexpectedly wonderful recipe.

Seeded Whole Wheat Scones
adapted from the New York Times
makes 12 scones

5 ounces (1 1/3 cups) whole-wheat pastry flour
2 ounces (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour (or more whole wheat pastry flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 ounces (1/2 cup) raw brown sugar
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons mixed seeds (for instance, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flax and poppy)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Dump anything remaining in the sifter into the bowl with the sifted ingredients. Place in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.

3. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla and, with the machine running, add to the flour mixture. Stop the machine and add the seeds. Pulse a few times to combine.

4. Flour your hands and a spatula, as well as your work surface, and scrape out the dough.  Gently shape into a rectangle 1 inch thick. Cut into 6 squares, then cut the squares diagonally to give you 12 triangular scones. The dough will be tacky but should not be too sticky to work with. If it is, add a little more flour.

5. Place the scones on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, or serve warm.

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