This scone dough was created as an all-purpose base for whatever seasonal fruits, spices and other flavorings you want. It’s a great way to use up produce before it goes bad. In that spirit of creativity, Sqirl’s head pastry chef, Catalina Flores, advises you to experiment. Don’t be afraid of odd combinations; to help you get started, we’ve listed some flavor pairings in the Variations below. And adding jam to the scones, a common Flores move, intensifies the flavor of the fruit you’re using but isn’t essential.
If baking plain scones, the dough will seem a little too dry at first, but by the time you bring it together in a disk, it will be the perfect texture. If adding fruit, know that this will make the dough a little wetter and thus stickier to work with, depending on the type you’re using; Add a little extra flour when shaping the dough into a disk if it starts sticking to the surface and work with it quickly. Flores bakes the scones from frozen at Sqirl, and it’s a crucial detail: Freezing them allows the butter to solidify so it puffs the scones quickly once they hit the high heat of the oven; it also helps keep their shape from spreading too much. Once baked, resist the urge to eat the scones while warm, letting them cool completely to attain their characteristic crumbliness.
The whole-grain spelt flour and sourdough starter add wonderful nuttiness and tanginess to the baked scones, so seek out both if you don’t already have them. Spelt flour is available at Whole Foods, most other grocery stores and online, but if you can’t find it, you can substitute it with einkorn, rye or whole-wheat flour. You can make your own sourdough starter, buy some from a local restaurant or online, or ask a friend for some of theirs in exchange for a pan of these scones.