Sunday, February 24, 2013

Whole Grain Brown Sugar Banana Scones

When I have weekend guests, I like to make something special for Sunday breakfast.  A treat they can enjoy with coffee and the Sunday paper.  Last weekend I made these whole grain brown sugar banana scones.  Sometimes, whole grain pastries can be dry compared with those made with white flour, but these were tender with a wonderful nutty flavor that complemented the bananas.  My guests had seconds.

I'd been give a five pound bag of sprouted spelt flour so that's what I used but if you can't find spelt flour you could use whole wheat flour or King Arthur's white whole wheat flour.  Spelt is an older variety of wheat that's lower in gluten.  There is some indication that the rise in celiac disease is due to the highly hybridized wheat we eat today.  Because it's lower in gluten, spelt flour should be handled gently and not overworked.

Start by freezing your Earth Balance butter substitute.  You can put it in the freezer the night before to save time in the morning.  Freezing the butter allows you to grate it is easily.

Freezing and grating the fat also helps you to easily work it into the flour.  I used rice milk to moisten these scones but you can any non dairy milk or soy creamer.  You could also replace up to half of the rice milk with non dairy sour cream.  I've whisked it into the rice milk for a richer "milk".

Once the dough is made, you knead it a few times and then roll or pat it out until you have a 12" square.  Fold the square in thirds and then fold it in thirds again in the other direction.   You'll end up with a square that you need to pop back in your freezer for five minutes to firm up the fats.

Chop a ripe banana into 1/4" thick rounds and reserve 8 rounds to decorate the tops.  Quarter the remaining pieces, you should end up with about a cup.

Roll or pat the dough out again to a 12" square and top with the chopped bananas and brown sugar.  (I originally mixed the brown sugar with the bananas but I don't recommend you do that.  The sugar liquified and made it difficult to spread evenly on the dough.)  

Roll the dough up and, with the seam side down, pat into a rectangle.  

Cut the rectangle into four pieces and then cut each square diagonally to form 8 scones.

Top each scone with one of the reserved banana rounds, that you've dipped in brown sugar.  These whole grain scones are browner that white flour scones but just as tender and so much better for you.

Brown Sugar Banana Scones
Makes 8 scones - Use organic ingredients whenever possible

5 tablespoons frozen Earth Balance butter substitute 
2 cups whole grain spelt flour 
1/4 cup unbleached sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Not quite 1 cup rice milk (or other non dairy milk)
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup dark brown sugar + a bit more for the bananas
Preheat oven to 425˚
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Grate the frozen butter substitute.
Gently and quickly, with your fingers, mix in the grated frozen butter substitute into the flour
Mix in the rice milk.
On a floured work surface, knead the dough a few times.
With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 12 inch square.
Fold the dough in thirds (like a legal paper) and then fold it in thirds in the other direction.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for 5 minutes (or refrigerate over night)
Chop the banana into 1/4" thick rounds.
Reserve 8 round to decorate the tops.  
Quarter the remaining pieces, you should end up with about a cup.
Roll the dough out to a twelve inch square again.
Top with quartered banana and brown sugar.
Roll the dough up into a log and with the seam down, form it into a rectangle.
Cut the rectangle into four equal pieces. 
Cut each piece diagonally.
Transfer scones on to a baking sheet.
Dip the banana rounds in brown sugar and press one on the top of each scone.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes. 

My other scone recipe:

Chocolate Chip Pear Scones