30 August 2013

Jammy Rye Scones

Last week, I decided I needed to re-attend to a bag of beloved rye flour in the freezer and realized I'd never made a scone with rye in it. So after a tiny bit of research/adaption, I concocted a half-batch of raspberry rye scones and baked them off one morning as I would any scone: a high temp, for 20 minutes or so. A buttery half-rye dough was kissed with lemon, slightly smashed berries were folded in and they baked up pretty stately: lightly browned atop with strands of red berry drizzled throughout. The outside, once cooled (though I probably should have waited even longer) was delightful, even a bit sweeter than I'd expected. But it was a Wednesday morning: did I really expect these would be aces?

When I slashed it in half to dollop on some jam I was perturbed. It looked a bit too damp, like it had needed more time or I'd added a tad too much cream. Well, those extra five minutes in the oven were long gone and the measuring cups put away. So I just ate around the center, which felt, kinda depressing. I needed to do better... for you, and for me! So I froze the other three and rewarmed them over the next few days in the hopes of drying them out which was a bandaid but not the cure, then one day I stuck one under the broiler while I was doing something else and burned the entire thing to black in about ten seconds. Luckily, one of these was sitting around as a replacement breakfast.

Now maybe I'm alone here but I don't like a scone with an under-set center. Nevermind all the advice to let them set for a few minutes which is directly contradicted by the often "enjoy warm from the oven..." So where do you stop cooling a scone? A crumb should be moist but not too moist. They should be eaten slightly warm but not piping hot. But with these raspberry ryes, since some chemistry was already off involving the bake time or moisture content, I would have been waiting in vain no matter what.

It's ok. This is how you grow. 

There is something to rye dough paired with berries. I just love it. So I stepped back and reconsidered: I was working with a 1:1 whole grain to all purpose flour mix. Hm...maybe I should have baked it at a lower temperature, for longer! Well what do you know,  a quick glance back at Good to the Grain indeed endorsed this theory. Nearly all of her recipes that include half a whole grain flour are cooked for longer and lower temperatures. So what was I doing popping these massive (albeit feathery) triangles of creamy buttery rye dough into a hot oven for a short time? Flailing, I guess.

So I started again, with this Kim Boyce recipe which is not in her book but one that she sells at her shop in Oregon. I did a little comparison with the popular figgy buckwheat scones in the book and decided on a hybrid. I'd made some quick stovetop blueberry jam a few days earlier so I slathered that on the rye dough and topped it with a bit of crushed toasted almonds I had already, and rolled it up like a pinwheel. Which was fun. I stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes, sliced them and baked them. And since I wasn't convinced they'd bake at 350, I set the temp around 370--and at 40 minutes (the time in the book for the fig scones), I pulled them. Yes, they took that long, but they weren't tiny and were cooked through just how I liked them. And the blueberry and rye? A star sign match.

Jammy Rye Scones 
Makes 6
Inspired by Kim Boyce here and here

Notes: I used salted butter (!) so I used just a pinch (scant 1/8 tsp) salt in the dough

  • 3/4 cups (84 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups (85 g) light rye flour
  • Scant 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar + an extra 2 pinches for the end
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ stick (2 oz) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 an egg
  • Grated zest of 1/2 a lemon 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup berry jam of your choice
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted slivered almonds

Oven to 375. Line a pan with parchment.

Cube butter and set it in the freezer. Mix and weigh your flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and half the nuts, then set the bowl in the freezer. Measure your cream and egg, stir in vanilla, and set in the fridge. Measure out your jam.

Toss butter into dry mix and rub butter with your fingers until you get pea size clumps. Stir in the cream mix gently, until dough is just moistened. There will be dry patches, it is ok.

Dump it all onto a piece of plastic wrap and use another piece atop to flatten dough with the heel of your hand into a loose rectangle. Fold it like a letter over itself at least twice and up to four times flattening and rotating dough each time. Use a pastry scraper to push the sides into rectangle shape and roll with a pin lightly to about 5 x 7 inches and 1/2 inch thick.

Spread on jam, remaining nuts and one pinch sugar. Now starting with the long side closest to you, begin to roll the dough into a log. Place it into the freezer for a moment or two. Slice the log into 6 equal pieces (I was a bit scant on the last two!) and place on baking sheet. Brush with any remaining cream in your wet bowl and pinch on last pinch sugar.

Bake *30-40 minutes. This is a wide range but I encourage you to keep checking after it's getting close to 30 minutes. The tops, sides and bottoms need to be golden and a toothpick come out clean but since rye is a denser flour it needs the extra time. Cool on the tray at least 10 minutes. Cover with a tea cloth if not eating right away.


  1. I've been wanting to try these scones for years, and I love your iteration of them with rye and blueberry - YUM! Also, I had no idea the Kim Boyce owned a bakery in Portland! I'm taking a road trip there next week, and I'm going to move in to Bakeshop. Win! So glad we found each others' sites through our love of rye flour - fate! ;)

  2. Haha yes : ) That is awesome you are going there! I feel like I online stalk that place. I figure she's gotta be making up other whole grain concoctions. These are really good. I just mixed another batch this morning! I think I'm a pinwheel convert. xx