Wednesday, February 26, 2014

whole wheat and rye cranberry scones.

Tyler and I have a very specific Saturday breakfast ritual (we are creatures of habit).  In a nutshell it involves a visit to our favorite French bakery for a loaf of multi-grain bread and a chocolate-almond croissant to share. (We may be known there as the people who bring the most pathetic reusable bag ever.  Each week they comment on how it still lives on and they finally felt so bad for us that they gifted us our own Choc-o-pain tote!  I feel so special.) From there we return to the apartment where we eat cheesy scrambled eggs, toast, and drink coffee while watching the Food Network.  I love nothing more then those lazy mornings.  

Sunday's on the other hand, are a mess.  Some times we have a proper breakfast, other weeks it's a weird mash up of avocado toast and grapefruit, occasionally it involves an assortment of refrigerator leftovers (the worst).    I'm been trying to make an effort to improve things because eating a bad breakfast does not bode well if you are trying to have a superior Sunday.  These scones are my first attempt at upping the breakfast ante and I have to say I really brought it in week 1.  Scones are a brilliant cross between biscuits and muffins and these are the best of the best.  Despite the inclusion of both whole wheat and rye flour, the manage to remain tender and delicate.  The cranberries add a bit of tartness and the zest a little acidity which is especially welcome during the winter months when it feels as if nothing excites your taste buds.  Slathered with some butter and orange marmalade and served with tea, you've got breakfast.  Really good breakfast.  

Also, in a weird twist of fate, the NYTimes published an article on scones today which is an excellent read.  

Whole Wheat and Rye Cranberry Scones
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen The Cookbook

Deb mentioned in her cookbook that the dough was really damp for her.  My dough I actually found to be on the dry side.  Not sure if that was because I used both farmer’s cheese and cranberries (2 items that are less moist then ricotta and raspberries).  Regardless of how your dough ends up, keep your counter and your hands well-floured and you won’t have any trouble.

1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons (25 grams) rye flour (optional)
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (100 grams) all-purpose flour (if you want to omit the rye flour do 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Zest of 1 orange
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter
1 cup (136 grams or 4 3/4 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
3/4 cup (189 grams) whole milk ricotta or farmer cheese
1/3 cup (79 ml) heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, and orange zest together.

With a pastry blender: Add the butter (no need to chop it first) and use the blender to both cut the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. Toss in cranberries.
Without a pastry blender: Cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add chopped cranberries and stir them into the butter-flour mixture.

Both methods: Add the ricotta or farmer cheese and heavy cream together and stir them in to form a dough with a flexible spatula.  Using your hands, gently knead dough into an even mass, right in the bottom of the bowl.

With as few movements as possible, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter, flour the top of the dough and pat it into a 7-inch square about 1-inch tall. With a large knife, divide the dough into 8 or 9 even squares. Transfer the scones to prepared baking sheet with a spatula. Bake the scones for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. It’s best to cool them about halfway before eating them, so they can set a bit more

Do ahead: Scones are always best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make them, arrange them on your parchment-lined sheet and freeze them. If you’re prepping just one day in advance, cover the tray with plastic wrap and bake them the day you need them. If you’re preparing them more than one day in advance, once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Bring them back to a parchment-lined sheet when you’re ready to bake them. No need to defrost the frozen, unbaked scones, just add 2 to 3 minutes to your baking time.


  1. Oh yum, these look delicious. Never thought to put rye flour in scones, though I'm a bit obsessed with the stuff at the moment. So glad to have found your site (via Kezia Cooks). Can't wait to give these scones a go. :)

    1. Alanna - Thank you so much for your sweet words! I just checked out your blog and am blown away. Those rye flour chocolate croissants may give me the push to finally tackle homemade croissants! Thanks for the inspiration and I look forward to reading about more of your creations!