Sourdough Discard Day: Cherry-Cream Cheese Scones
Whoever says sourdough is fussy and can't be done by "working women" (don't ALL women work?) is nuts. These cherry-cream cheese scones are a case in point. You begin feeding your starter/discard the night before you make the scones (in my case, because it was hungry), stir in more flour early the next morning, and, in the evening, add the remainder of the ingredients and bake the scones. Leaving the starter/discard to do it's thing for the evening/day will increase the sourdough tang and lessen the likelihood of gluten sensitivity from the flour. You'll have hot scones that are tender, lighter than traditional baking powder-only scones, and full of tangy, yeasty sourdough flavor. The tart cherries and cream cheese amplify the tang of the sourdough and provide additional layers of flavor and texture. The scones don't include a lot of sugar and have no butter. As a bonus, the scones require no rolling, only a little shaping, if you're so inclined. Try the scones as a warm treat after dinner with your coffee. Or pop a scone in the toaster the next morning for breakfast or in your lunch bag for a snack.
Cherry-Cream Cheese Sourdough Scones -- Makes 12+
1 cup of sourdough starter/discard
1/2 cup of water
2 cups of white whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of canola oil
6 ounces of low fat cream cheese cut into small bits (3/4 of a block)
1/2 cup of dried cherries
2-3 tablespoons of raw (turbinado) sugar (optional)
Mix the water with the sourdough starter/discard and then add one cup of white whole-wheat flour. Set the mixture aside at room temperature until the next morning. Then add the remaining cup of white whole-wheat flour and set the mixture aside until evening. It will bubble, bubble, rise, and bubble. Don't worry. It knows what it's doing. The wild yeast and bacteria are feeding on the starch and sugars. That evening add to the mixture the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and oil, stirring the mixture well to incorporate all the ingredients. Then stir in the dried cherries and bits of cream cheese, mixing the dough well to distribute the cherries and cream cheese. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray or line them with parchment paper. Drop golf ball-sized mounds of the dough onto the baking sheets, leaving a couple of inches of space between each dough mound. Shape the mounds with wet fingers to even them out and sprinkle the tops with raw sugar, if you'd like (the mounds will puff and expand as they bake, so you don't have to be too precise). Bake the scones for 15-20 minutes or until very light brown.