The WHOLE GRAIN bug seems to have caught me too. It’s been a while that I have been thinking of switching to whole grains but somehow it never happened. A few weeks back while shopping at Whole Foods I was overwhelmed looking at different kinds of flours available there. I immediately bought – rye, spelt and buckwheat flour. With Rye flour, I baked a Raisin Rye Bread which never made it to my blog as we wiped it even before I could photograph it. With Spelt,I plan to make some biscuits – so watch out for this space:).
BUCKWHEAT is a very healthy grain with very high nutritional values. It has a strong and distinctive flavor, so not many prefer this flour. It’s usually grounded with the outer bran resulting in a rich grey/purple color with dark flecks. The black flecks/hull is the reason for its pleasant bitterness. Buckwheat is said to be something of an acquired taste.. Since I was working with it for the first time, I so wanted to like it – mainly because its healthy. With the flour, all I could think was to make Pancakes. Since I wanted to bake, I decided to go with the Scones.
Also as it does not contain gluten, it’s very good for people with gluten allergies. If you are planning to introduce Buckwheat in your cooking, these Scones are the best way to start:). The scones tasted nutty and delicious. I didn’t have time to make the fig butter so picked up a bottle from Trader Joe’s. The fig butter and the buckwheat were meant to be together,they paired so well. I even spread a little on top of the baked scones….gosh it was heaven!!!
FIGGY BUCKWHEAT SCONES
Makes about 12
Dry Mix – ½ cup buckwheat flour
½ cup + 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon butter (cut into small pieces)
½ cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ cup fig butter ( or more)
Directions: Sift dry ingredients into a large bow, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Add the butter to the dry mixture. Rub the butter between your fingers,breaking it into smaller bits. Continue rubbing until the butter is coarsely ground and feels like grains of rice. The faster you do this,the more butter will stay solid,which is important for the success of this recipe. Add cream and gently mix it into the flour with a spatula until the dough is just combined.
Using a spatula or pastry scrapper transfer the dough into a well floured surface. It will be sticky so flour your hands with the flour and pat the dough into a rectangle that is about 8 x 16 inches and 3/4 inch thick. I rolled it out a little too thin so ended up with 12 scones. Ideally for this recipe you should get about 6-8 scones. If at any time the dough rolls off in a different direction,use your hands to square the corners and pat it back into shape. As you’re running periodically run a pastry scrapper or spatula underneath to loosen the dough,flour the surface and continue rolling. This keeps the dough from sticking. Flour the top of the dough with flour if the dough is sticking. Spread the fig butter over the dough.Roll the long edge of the dough,patting the dough as you roll so that it forms a neat 16 inches long roll. Roll the finished log so that the seam is on the bottom and the weight of the roll seals the edge.
Using a knife,slice the roll in half. Put the halves on a baking sheet,cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes( The dough can be kept covered in the refrigerator for upto 2 days).While the dough is chilling preheat the oven to 350F. Line the Baking sheet with parchment paper.
After 30 minutes,take the logs out and cut each half into slices about 1 1/4 inches wide. Place each scone flat ,with the spiral of the fig butter facing up. Give the scones a squeeze to shape them into rounds. Bake for about 35-40minutes,rotating sheets halfway through. The scones are ready to come out when their undersides are golden brown.
They are best eaten warm from the oven or later the same day. They start becoming a little soft after a day or so.
The above recipe was adapted from Good to the Grain book by Kim Boyce.