Back in 2011, the Texas legislature passed SB 81, a bill that allowed certain foods made at home to be sold legally to customers. In 2013, HB 970, which further expands the list of foods and allows home bakers to sell their product at farmer’s markets, successfully passed the house and senate, and was signed by the governor on June 14. This past Sunday, September 1st, the Texas Baker’s Bill, a boon to the entrepreneurially-minded home baker, officially became law.
If I were to start a little home baking business, some version of these scones would most likely be a part of my regular repertoire. Einkorn, the flour used here, is actually an ancient, unhybridized grain, naturally lower in gluten and higher in nutrients than modern red and white wheat. These days it’s being cultivated again and available for purchase in whole, milled, and sprouted varieties by companies such as Jovial Foods and To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company. Another variation I’ll be trying with this scone recipe is a flavor combination inspired by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, substituting a little fine cornmeal for some of the einkorn and using blackberries as the fruit. With this basic scone template, all you need is your imagination and your best ingredients. I might just be making these again for breakfast tomorrow.
Einkorn Lemon Blueberry Scones
(recipe adapted from the cookbook Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville)
3 cups/360 g all-purpose einkorn flour
1 tablespoon/15 g baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons/72 g organic cane sugar
4 ounces/110 g unsalted butter
zest of one large lemon
2/3 cup/160 g whole milk
1/2 cup/70 g wild blueberries
1 tablespoon/15 g heavy cream
1 large/18 g egg yolk
(Important note: One thing I’ve found when working with einkorn flour is that when you add liquids, such as water or milk, it rapidly becomes very sticky. The einkorn flour can also clump up rather quickly when working in pieces of butter, so you either have to work quickly, or in my case, let a food processor do the difficult work for you. To keep the dough from being over-mixed by the processor after adding the milk, use the pulse button only a few times so the dough is still very roughly mixed, with a crumbly texture and lots of little and some bigger pieces, and the milk is not completely worked into the dough. You don’t want the dough to come together in a ball, since you will be dumping the dough, in its very loose form, onto your countertop, and folding the berries in by hand. Also, like spelt, it’s good to remember that einkorn flour requires about 20 percent to 25 percent less liquid in a recipe than modern red or white wheat varieties. If you don’t have all-purpose einkorn flour and use regular all-purpose flour instead, increase the amount of whole milk by 25 percent, about 4 tablespoons more, in addition to the 2/3 cup listed. The exception to this rule is if you are using sprouted flour, which usually requires more liquid than unsprouted flour).
Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Stack two half-size (18-inch x 13-inch) baking sheets together, to prevent the scones from burning on the bottom, and line the top baking sheet with parchment paper. Assemble all your ingredients so you can move quickly from one step to the next.
Weigh or measure flour and add to the bowl of your food processor. Add the baking powder and salt to the flour, and pulse briefly until blended. Measure sugar into a separate small bowl, and zest the lemon over the sugar. Using your fingers, work the lemon zest into the sugar until the sugar is fragrant with the smell of the zest. Add the sugar to the flour and pulse until blended in. Cut butter into several pieces. Add to the flour and pulse for 1-2 seconds spurts until no large pieces remain.
Pour the milk evenly over the flour in the processor, and pulse in short 1-second spurts, maybe three or four times, until you have a very roughly mixed dough (see important note above). Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gather it loosely into a large circle, and sprinkle the blueberries over the entire dough. Gently fold the blueberries evenly into the dough, gathering the dough together while working it as little as possible, lightly pressing it together to form a 7-inch flattened round by the time you are done. The dough will moisten considerably with the addition of the blueberries.
Cut the round into six or eight equal wedges. Mix the cream and egg yolk together and use a pastry brush to coat the top and sides of each wedge evenly. Place the scones on the stacked baking sheets, about an inch or so apart, and place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 9 minutes, rotate 180 degrees, and bake for another 9 minutes until edges of scones begin to turn golden brown.
Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm with your favorite scone topping.
Makes 6 large scones or 8 medium scones