Monday, November 19, 2012

Sourdough Cranberry Scones


Who knew you could make sourdough scones? The smart and savey bakers over at Sourdough Surprises, that's who. And not just scones; bagels, twists, pizza, donuts. Sourdough donuts? I need one right now!! Certainly I never knew, but I'm so glad I know now. I think soudough and I are going to be good friends, and that wasn't always the case. 

My last experience with sourdough went something like this. I got a job at a restaurant known for their handmade sourdough bread. I was more of a pastry chef so I thought this would be a great way to expand my repertoire. Hmmmm, not so much as it turns out. You see, sourdough starter is alive and it needs to be fed and these monsters, five 20 quart containers, needed me to feed them everyday. It was not fun, at least I didn't think so. It was cold, cause they were in the walk-in. It was messy, I remember being up to my shoulders in sourdough starter. And it was hard work to get those starters mixed just right. Needless to say I found another job ASAP.

This time around I'm having such a better experience. The starter is in a sweet glass jar perfectly sized to my proportions. And I'm only feeding it once a week as per many suggestions such as this and this. I mostly use white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour) so that's what I used for the starter. I did cheat and used commerical yeast to start the starter. Also I must confess I was clueless about hydration rates, therefore my starter is a little runny. But it's a start!



I adapted my old tried and true scone recipe. I've been making these scones  for years, in fact we did a great wholesake business for a while. Every Wednesday was "Scone  Wednesday", the day we made and packaged  50 dozen scones of every possible flavor. Since there's a good amount of baking powder in this recipe, the starter is used more for flavor than for lifting the dough. (I do want to make these again and when I do I'll let the dough rise before baking and see what happens.) I took out some of the flour and some of the heavy cream and replaced it with the starter. I totally forget to add the egg but I didn't even notice till I was writing the recipe here. I would say it doesn't need it so I left it out of these instructions. 

I had my doubts about how they were going to turn out, but that's the fun of trying something new. Let me tell you they were fantastic!! The dough was easy to work with and smelled amazing. The end product was light, airy and tender with a pleasent, earthy sourdough tang. 

Sourdough Cranberry Scones

1 & 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut up
1 cup sourdough starter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in cold butter and mix, by hand, until crumbly. Or use a food processor, just don't over mix. Add cranberries and toss to mix. Add heavy cream and starter; mix with a wooden spoon just to combine. Turn dough out on to a floured surface and give it a couple turns just until it all comes together. Dough will be sticky. Try not to handle it too much or get too much more flour worked into it. Pat the dough into an 8 or 9 inch circle and cut into six triangles. Cut each triangle in half to get 12 scones. Place scones on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn the tray and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes. Combine confectioners sugar and milk and spread on cooled scones.  Makes 12 scones. 








Did you think sourdough starter was just for bread? Let's hear your thoughts on the subject!


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10 comments:

  1. Oh the icing is a nice touch! I'll have to do that next time.
    Gosh, I can't imagine taking care of those big tubs of starter every day. Glad your starter is coming along nicely!

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    1. Thanks Jane, it was an education but I don't miss that job at all, that's for sure!

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  2. LOL, I almost never bake sourdough bread. Cakes, muffins, everything else...nice job on your scones :-)

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    1. Thanks Jessica, give it a try. It's worth the effort, the flavor is incomparable!

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  3. I can't imagine dealing with multiple 20 quart containers of sourdough! My little yogurt container full is sometimes more than I can handle (the needy little thing, lol!). BEAUTIFUL scones - your photos are just wonderful.

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    1. Thanks Korena! They were monsters! But it gave me a lot of respect for bakers who make their living making bread. It's a labor of love.

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  4. Welcome to sourdough surprises! And OH MY GOSH - I can't imagine huge, bakery-sized batches of starter. I would think the at-home version is more manageable. And more fun! :) Your scones look awesome - you did a great job! I hope you'll keep sourdoughing with us!

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    1. Thanks Shelley! I'm so glad I found you guys. What a brillient idea. Lots of reasons not to throw away that starter every week but to try something new!

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  5. Whoa, those are some large vats of starter.... no wonder you needed a break! LOL. Glad you have a nice manageable jar now, and that you chose to bake with us! Your scones look very delicious! Good choice with adding the cranberries and the glaze, too! (Most things call for 100% hydration rate - meaning equal parts starter, flour, and water. You can do this with a scale or with a measuring cup)

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    1. Thanks Jenni! I am lovin that small jar! Is it too late to switch and try getting my starter a little thicker?

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