Makes 12 servings
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¹/³cup coconut or granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut in chunks
1½ cups chopped dried fruit like dates, apricots, raisins, and cherries
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¹/³ cup 2 percent milk
1 cup rolled oats
Spelt flour has been taking the natural-foods world by storm lately—with an increasing number of recipes calling for it and products including it. But it’s far from new. Cultivated since 5,000 BCE, it truly earns the title of “ancient grain.” Unlike many other grains, however, it has never been hybridized and therefore remains very close to the crop that was first developed many centuries ago. Although not gluten-free, the grain is wheat-free so its flour is more easily digested than most wheat flours. It’s also high in fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamins E and B. And with a mild and slightly nutty taste, it’s an excellent alternative flour for baked goods because it’s also “lighter” than many other non-wheat options—yielding treats that are tender and soft. Here, we used it to pump up the nutrition in these holiday scones.
- Cut the sugar in half and include shredded cheddar cheese and sliced green onions instead of the dried fruit for a savory version.
- Replace the dried fruit with a mixture of dark chocolate chips and nuts for a dessert version.
- Make snack-size scones by cutting the dough with a small round cookie cutter before baking.
Where to get spelt
Look for whole grain, organic spelt flour at your local grocery store or online. We used Arrowhead Mills Spelt Flour ($6 for 30 oz., Whole Foods). To keep the flour fresh, store it in a sealed container in the freezer.
More ways to use spelt flour
For breakfast: Replace half the wheat flour with spelt flour in your favorite pancake recipe.
For dessert: When making a fruit crumble, use spelt flour in the topping for an extra dose of nutrition.
For dinner: Dredge chicken cutlets in spelt flour before breading to add a nutty flavor.
1. Heat oven to 425°F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
3. Using your fingers, add the cold butter and work until the butter is distributed in the flour mixture. It doesn’t need to be even; it’s fine if you have larger chunks of butter. (And don’t overmix when baking with spelt; it will get tough if you overwork it.)
4. Add the dried fruit and combine.
5. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, and milk. Stir into the dry mixture until the dough holds together.
6. Spread oats on work surface.
7. Knead dough gently into the oats.
8. Form the dough into 2 six-inch disks.
9. Using a sharp knife, score each disk into six wedges.
10. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
11. Bake the scones until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Enjoy them warm!