Use Your Discard to Make Sourdough Apple-Cheese-Raisin Scones
These scones are a great alternative to those too sweet scones from the coffee and pastry shops. You know the ones. The scones that are so sweet they make your teeth hurt unless you follow them up--quickly--with a big slurp of coffee. Sourdough Apple-Cheese-Raisin Scones are sweetened naturally with a little honey and lots of chopped apple. A few plump raisins also add bursts of sweetness. The scones aren't designed to be "sweet scones," though. The apples and raisins highlight and contrast with the tang of the sourdough and the savory, salty goodness of cheese. I use small chunks of cheddar or Colby-Jack cheese in the dough. The chunks melt in the oven, giving the scones pockets of cheesy taste as you bite into them. The chunks of cheese don't always lead to "Instagram worthy" looking scones, but, in my view, taste trumps Instagram. If you don't want warm cheese oozing out of your scones, feel free to use shredded cheese instead. The scones will look neater after baking, though they won't taste quite as good, in my opinion. Of course, you could use a little shredded cheese in addition to the chunks, if you really like cheese! The scones are great for breakfast, and they also make a nice, filling, not too sweet snack.
Sourdough Apple-Cheese-Raisin Scones -- Makes 10-12
1 cup of sourdough starter/discard
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 tablespoons of honey
1 1/2 cups of chopped, peeled apple (about 2 apples)
1/2 cup of white whole-wheat flour (or just use all-purpose, if that's what you have)
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
6 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of raisins
4 ounces of cubed cheddar or Colby-Jack cheese (1/2-inch cubes, approximately)
Milk and cinnamon-sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. In a large bowl, beat together well the sourdough starter/discard, egg, oil, and honey. Stir in the chopped apple. In another bowl, combine the white whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until particles the size of peas or smaller form. Add the flour mixture to the wet sourdough mixture until just combined. Stir in the raisins and cheese cubes until combined. Dump the mixture out onto the prepared parchment covered baking sheet. Pat the dough together with your hands, forming a large circle about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Cut the dough into 10-12 triangles, then separate the triangles, placing them at least an inch apart. If you'd like, brush the tops of the scones with a little milk and dust them with a little cinnamon mixed with sugar (1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of sugar) for more sweetness and a nicer top crust. Bake the scones for about 20 minutes or until golden. The cheese will ooze out a little but harden up on standing. Let the scones cool at least 5 minutes before serving them.