July 7, 2010

Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Scones

A few days ago I left town for a friend’s wedding.  I knew that I wouldn’t have much time in the morning to prepare breakfast before leaving, but I still wanted something hearty enough to keep me satisfied until the butlered hor d'oeuvres made their welcomed appearance at the reception.  Scones, one of my favorite delights in the entire baking universe, are very quick and wonderfully easy to whip up.  Scones to the rescue!

A good scone is hard to come by.  Often I’ll see a tray of scones in a local coffee shop or bakery and I can’t resist buying one in my zeal for this wonderfully tasty, flaky and not too crumbly treat.  Of course, often I’m disappointed after the first bite.  Too frequently the scones are dry, tough and break into a pile of crumbs quite easily.  That’s why the best scones are the ones you make yourself.

In an effort to be a bit healthier, I’ve incorporated whole wheat flour to boost the fiber content.  It adds a subtle flavor and gives the scone an ever-so-slightly chewy texture.  No pile of crumbs here!  Feel free to use your favorite berry or berry combo.  Even frozen berries will do in a pinch, but nothing tastes as bright or retains its shape as well as fresh in-season berries.  The scones also keep well for a day or two after baking if wrapped tightly.  Bon appétit!

Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Scones
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 tbs sugar
1 ¼ cups heavy cream, plus a little more for brushing
5 tbs butter, very cold and cut into cubes
1 ¼ cups berries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl sift together both flours, plus the baking powder and salt.  Using a pasty cutter or your hands (or two forks work well, too) incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the heavy cream and mix just until combined.  Gently fold the berries into the dough.  Don't worry if a few berries get squashed in the process.  The dough will be streaked with color, but the berries taste just as good.

Press the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into circle.  Cut the dough into the traditional triangle shape, or use a biscuit cutter for uniform circular shapes.  You could even use your knife for a free form expression of scone-y goodness, too!

Place the scones onto an ungreased baking sheet and brush the tops with a bit of heavy cream.  Bake for 20 minutes or until gently browned.  Enjoy!

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