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Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Scones or Buns

I intended to make pumpkin scones with my sourdough discard but then decided I didn't want to bake immediately. That's one of the beauties of sourdough. It generally will wait. Rather than adding baking powder to my scone batter and baking it immediately, I opted for simple, yeast-risen pumpkin buns. Sure, they took longer. That was my intent. I mixed up the batter after lunch, formed the buns, and then went about my business until dinner time. At that point, I needed to use the oven to cook a casserole, which I did in about 30 minutes. Then, after I pulled the casserole from the oven, I popped in the pan with the pumpkin buns. By that time, the buns had risen quite nicely. The buns came out of the oven puffy, light, and soft. The pumpkin in them is quite subtle, and the buns are only a little sweet. No problem there. I topped the buns with a white chocolate and cream cheese icing, making them perfect for accompanying an after-dinner cup of coffee or tea. The pumpkin buns also are quite happy alongside breakfast dishes and make a delicious alternative to the usual breakfast cinnamon rolls.

Of course, if you do want to make traditional pumpkin scones with the batter, you can. Just add 1 tablespoon of baking powder to the batter when you add the second cup of all-purpose flour, mix everything together, and pat the mixture into a round. Cut the dough into triangles or cut out round shapes. Bake the scones at 400 degrees for 15-10 minutes.

Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Scones or Buns

Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Buns -- Makes 12

1 cup of sourdough discard/starter (I use a whole-wheat flour starter)

1/4 cup of canola oil

1/3 cup of sugar

3/4 cup of pumpkin puree

1/4 cup of water

2 cups of all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

3 tablespoons of butter

1/3 cup of dried cranberries (optional)

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or coat it with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the discard/starter, oil, sugar, pumpkin puree, water, 1 cup of flour, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until thoroughly combined. In another bowl, with a fork or pastry blender, cut the butter into the remaining 1 cup of flour (and add 1 tablespoon of baking powder to the flour, if you'd prefer to make scones rather than buns) until course crumbs form. Mix the flour/butter mixture into the wet pumpkin batter thoroughly. Stir in the dried cranberries, if you're using them. Drop the very soft dough by spoonfuls about the size of a golf ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Form 12 blobs of dough an inch or two apart. With wet hands (keep a bowl of water nearby to dip your hands), form the blobs into round biscuit-like shapes about 2 inches in diameter. Spritz the buns with a little canola oil or cooking spray and let them rise for 4-6 hours until not quite double. Bake the buns at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until puffed and just set. Let the buns cool a little and dab/spread on the frosting with the back of a spoon.


1/4 cup of white chocolate chips

1/4 cup of light cream cheese

1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar

Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave at 50 percent power for about a minute, stirring the chips every 15 seconds. Mix in the cream cheese until smooth and then mix in the confectioners' sugar well.

Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Scones or Buns with White Chocolate and Cream Cheese Frosting

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