Sourdough Discard Scones: A Recipe from the Farm

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by TheFarmChicken

a toasted maple pecan sourdough scone

I wanted to make a scone that was beautifully browned and crisp on the outside with a tender, buttery and slightly sweet interior. I think I have just that! The sprinkle of sugar on top adds to the crunch and give the scone a beautiful sparkle. One thing that is so fun about making scones is that there are so many different flavor combinations you can do. This is a master recipe but check out the text below where I go over how to convert it to some of the best flavors of scones. Basically, it is many scone recipes in one. I hope you have fun making these Sourdough Discard Scones: A Recipe from the Farm.

To be honest, I wasn’t that motivated to create a scone recipe. To me a scone was a dry crusty pastry that was inferior to its friend the muffin. However, it turns out homemade and especially sourdough scones are anything but that! I hope you enjoy these Sourdough Discard Scones: A Recipe from the Farm. This master recipe includes with it a ton of options to dress up your scone with beautiful flavors and inclusions.

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the golden brown bottom of a scone

The Ingredients in Sourdough Discard Scones:

All-Purpose Flour

One of the ways you will get that tender crumb you are looking for in a scone is minimal gluten formation. An all-purpose flour is better than a bread flour for this reason. As I talk about in the recipe, not overmixing helps this too.

If you want to, you could also use a pastry flour in place of the all-purpose. Pastry flour has even less protein than all purpose and would be perfect for making a tender crumb.

Baking Soda

This along with baking powder and the egg are the leavening agents in this recipe. Baking soda reacts well with buttermilk giving these a beautiful rise.

Baking Powder

This ingredient is added as a leavening agent and works with the soda and egg to make a soft tender scone.

Salt

Just a little bit of salt is added to this recipe to even out the flavors.

Brown Sugar

Part of the key to a beautifully browned exterior. I added brown sugar to this recipe for added flavor too!

Butter (Unsalted)

You want an unsalted butter for this recipe and frozen too! The frozen butter will chop up easier, stay cold longer and will overall make you a better and more tender scone! Don’t skip this part!

Sourdough Discard

Make sure you have cold sourdough discard; you don’t need active starter for this recipe. Having cold starter will help your butter stay cold in your scones and give you an excellent end product.

If you have questions about, what sourdough discard is I have a helpful spot where I answer some of the most frequent questions on sourdough discard.

If you need a sourdough starter, make sure to check out Learning Sourdough with Agnes to get started!

Egg

An egg in this recipe acts as a binder. You can either have it be cold or room temperature.

Buttermilk

Buttermilk brings flavor and moisture to the crumb while cutting down on some of the fat by not using all heavy whipping cream for a wet ingredient.

Heavy Whipping Cream

The heavy cream adds to the tenderness and flavor of this scone.

Pure Vanilla Extract

Adding to the full flavor of this beautiful scone pure vanilla extract is the perfect complement to so many flavors.

scones ready to cut up and place on a baking sheet

Tips on How to Bake the Best Scones:

  1. You want your ingredients to be cold- frozen or cold butter, cold sourdough discard, cold cream, and buttermilk, this leaves you with the best possible scone. Tender and soft and so good.
  2. Don’t over mix. When you get to the part of adding the wet to the dry ingredients you want to make sure you don’t overwork/mix the dough. All you really need to do is knead it until it is just combined and then transfer it to the clean work surface.
  3. A hot oven is the perfect contrast to the cold scones and will leave you with a beautifully browned and fluffy scone.
  4. Don’t overbake! Just as important as not overmixing don’t over bake your scones or this can lead to them being dry. I usually wait until they are nicely golden on the bottom and tops and then take them out of the oven and immediately transfer them to the cooling rack.
on baking sheet

Oh, the Flavors You Can Try:

Toasted Maple Pecan Scones

  • Take 1 cup (110g) chopped pecans and toss them in 2T maple syrup and brown sugar. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 8-10 minutes being careful not to burn them.
  • Cool the pecans after baking and add them to the dry ingredients when mixing up the scones.

This is one of my favorite flavors to make with these Sourdough Discard Scones: A Recipe from the Farm. The nutty and sweet notes are delicious with a cup of coffee!

Chocolate Chip Scones

Mini chips, dark chips, mint chips, chopped chocolate bars…so many ways to make delicious sourdough scones with chocolate.

  • Simply add 1 cup of chocolate to the dry ingredients when making the scones.

Orange & Cardamom Scones

  • Add a 1 teaspoon cardamom to the dry ingredients and the zest of one orange to the wet ingredients.
  • Also, instead of sprinkling the dough with sugar these scones are delicious with a glaze after baking.

Orange Cardamom Glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • Orange zest from half an orange
  • 1 T heavy whipping cream

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. If to runny add some powdered sugar and if too thick add in some cream. Spread on slightly cooled scones.

orange zest glaze

Cranberry Orange Scones

Add the zest of one orange to the wet ingredients and 1 cup of dried cranberries to the dry ingredients.

Blueberry Scones

Add a cup of fresh blueberries, which have been washed and dried, to the dry ingredients. I wouldn’t use frozen as they might be too liquid to add to a scone and will cause the scone to become too wet.

You could also add about 2 T lemon juice and the zest of a lemon to brighten up the flavor of this blueberry scone version. This is a great way to add so much flavor to a scone. Add this to the wet ingredients before they are mixed in with the dry ingredients.

Glazed Pumpkin Spice Scones

Perfect for a fall treat try these scones as a pumpkin spice scone. Add 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp ginger, and ¼ tsp cloves to the dry ingredients.

Pumpkin Glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 T pumpkin puree
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1 T cream

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. If to runny add some powdered sugar and if too thick add in some cream. Spread on slightly cooled scones.

Strawberry Rhubarb Scones

Add a ¼ cup fresh strawberries chopped and patted dry and ¾ cup rhubarb finely cut chopped and patted dry with a paper towel. Add this to the dry ingredients of the original recipe below.

I think another way to enjoy rhubarb with scones would be to make the scone recipe without any inclusions and serve them with butter and a rhubarb or strawberry rhubarb sauce. Yum!

chocolate chips in dry ingredients for scones

Rewarming a Scone:

Scones are really the best the day they are baked but a person really can’t always eat that many scones in one day! Here is how I like to reheat my day-old scones:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place leftover scones on baking sheet.
  • Rewarm in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes.
  • Enjoy! Not as good as freshly baked but still so good!

How to Freeze Scones:

You can freeze your scones for up to 3 months. Simple remove from the freezer and microwave on defrost for around 2 minutes or completely thaw in the bag and follow the rewarming instructions above.

plated sourdough scone

The Sourdough Scone Process in Pictures:

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pin image for scones

Sourdough Discard Scones: A Recipe from the Farm

  • 2 ¼ cup all purpose (290g)
  • ½ cup brown sugar (105g)
  • 2 tsp baking powder (10g)
  • ½ tsp baking soda (0.5g)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3g)
  • 8 T unsalted butter, frozen (120g)
  • ½ cup sourdough starter discard, cold (120g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (2g)
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream (60g)
  • ¼ cup buttermilk (60g)
  • Sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 cup optional inclusion (chocolate chips, pecans, cranberries, etc.)
  • More flavor ideas above.

Instructions:

  • First start by taking a cutting board and chef’s knife. Chop the butter up into small pieces. (See picture) Once they are small pieces place back into the freezer while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  • NOTE: You can also grate the frozen butter if you prefer but if you are like me that sounds like no fun! Chopping it is actually easier than you would think.
  • Next, in a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and add any inclusions you plan to add. Then set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the sourdough discard, egg, vanilla extract, cream, and buttermilk until well combined.
  • Next, take the butter from the freezer and add to the dry ingredients. If there are any really big pieces of butter that you missed when chopping it up take a fork or pastry blender and cut it into the dry ingredients. Making the butter pieces no bigger than the size of an almond.
  • You want to work quickly to make sure that your ingredients don’t get warm, and the butter starts melting.

Mixing the wet and dry ingredients together:

  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead by hand a couple of times to incorporate. Then dump the contents to a clean work surface and knead a couple more times until the dough is just coming together.
  • At this point you will shape your scone dough into a 7”-8” round that is about 1 ¾” thick.
  • Taking a bench scraper or sharp knife cut the circle into 8 equal pieces and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Once they are all placed on the prepared baking sheet transfer this to the freezer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven on the convection setting if you have it to 400 degrees.

Baking the Scones

  • After the 30 minutes, remove the unbaked scones from the freezer and sprinkle the tops of the scones with sugar.
  • Place scones into the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until nicely golden brown.
  • When out of the oven transfer immediately to a cooling rack!
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!
  • Store leftover scones in an airtight container and use the reheating instructions above for the best results.
top view of sourdough scones

Sourdough Discard Scones: A Recipe from the Farm

A tender crumb with a beautiful golden brown exterior these sourdough scones are sure to please. Add in your favorite inclusions and share with a friend over coffee or tea.
Print Recipe
a toasted maple pecan sourdough scone

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cup all purpose 290g
  • ½ cup brown sugar 105g
  • 2 tsp baking powder 10g
  • ½ tsp baking soda 0.5g
  • ½ tsp salt 3g
  • 8 T unsalted butter, frozen (120g)
  • ½ cup sourdough starter discard, cold (120g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 2g
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream 60g
  • ¼ cup buttermilk 60g
  • sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 cup optional inclusion chocolate chips, pecans, cranberries, etc.
  • More flavor ideas above.

Instructions

Instructions:

  • First start by taking a cutting board and chef’s knife. Chop the butter up into small pieces. (See picture) Once they are small pieces place back into the freezer while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
    chopped frozen butter
  • NOTE: You can also grate the frozen butter if you prefer but if you are like me that sounds like no fun! Chopping it is actually easier than you would think.
  • Next, in a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and add any inclusions you plan to add. Then set aside.
    dry ingredients combined
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the sourdough discard, egg, vanilla extract, cream, and buttermilk until well combined.
    wet ingredients mixed up for scones
  • Next, take the butter from the freezer and add to the dry ingredients. If there are any really big pieces of butter that you missed when chopping it up take a fork or pastry blender and cut it into the dry ingredients. Making the butter pieces no bigger than the size of an almond.
    butter incorporated with dry ingredients
  • You want to work quickly to make sure that your ingredients don’t get warm, and the butter starts melting.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead by hand a couple of times to incorporate. Then dump the contents to a clean work surface and knead a couple more times until the dough is just coming together.
    wet and dry ingredients slightly mixed
  • At this point you will shape your scone dough into a 7”-8” round that is about 1 ¾” thick.
    shaped circle to cut into 8
  • Taking a bench scraper or sharp knife cut the circle into 8 equal pieces and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
    cut scones
  • Once they are all placed on the prepared baking sheet transfer this to the freezer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven on the convection setting if you have it to 400 degrees.
    on baking sheet
  • After the 30 minutes, remove the unbaked scones from the freezer and sprinkle the tops of the scones with sugar.
  • Place scones into the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until nicely golden brown.
  • When out of the oven transfer immediately to a cooling rack!
    top view of sourdough scones
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!
    coffee and sourdough scone on a plate

Notes

Store leftover scones in an airtight container and use the reheating instructions above for the best results.
Servings: 8 scones

This Sourdough Discard Scones: A Recipe from the Farm is simple and so much fun to make. It’s perfect for an afternoon tea or with coffee in the morning. A great way to use any sourdough discard you might have left. You could even easily make a double batch and share with your friends. Let me know if you have any questions or write a review below. Thank you for stopping by TheFarmChicken.

Sincerely,

Mariah | TheFarmChicken
The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh Him.
Lamentations 3:25

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Should scone dough rest before baking?

Yes, for the best results I like to put my scones in the freezer for 30 minutes before putting them in the preheated oven. This allows two things: the gluten to relax and the butter to stiffen before going in a hot oven. Relaxed gluten means a more tender end result.

Why are my homemade scones dry?

This is most likely because they were overmixed. Overmixing might be the easiest mistake to make when making scones. Be sure to combine/knead until just coming together. It’s okay if there are still a few dry spots in the dough.

What is the secret of making good scones?

Two secrets: cold ingredients and not overmixing. Both of these tips will put you on the road to success with scones!

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