Whole Wheat Lemon Ginger Scones

whole wheat lemon ginger sconesScones are definitely one of my “go-to” things to bake, when I have to come up with something sweet in a hurry. Typically they’re a “by heart” recipe – I don’t have to look up anything, because I have the proportions memorized and I only need to decide on what flavors I want to add.

A recipe that you know “by heart” usually means you don’t have to look it up to get the ingredients right, but it’s more than just memorization. It’s a family favorite, probably something that you have made hundreds of times, because everyone loves it, because it means home and comfort, because eating it makes the people you love feel good. “By heart” recipes are real, and we have them memorized because, just like making good things for the people we love, they are something that says a lot about who we are.

Scones – or any type of biscuit [and scones are just a sweet sort of biscuit when you come right down to it] are like that for me. Just getting the ingredients together makes me feel good. Patting out the soft, pliable dough has a nearly sensual feel to it. Cutting out the scones, and lining them up on a baking sheet is satisfying. After they are baked, I love dipping the tops in a sweet glaze and watching it drip down over the sides.

After a few minutes in the oven, the delicious aroma begins to fill the kitchen, and by the time they are finished baking, with the flaky layers showing and the lightly browned tops – it is all you can do to wait those few moments until they’re to be cool enough to handle. Then comes the decision of whether to wait a little bit and glaze them, or just serve with butter and jam, still hot and fresh from the oven – usually I opt for some of each, as I did with this batch.

I had to adjust things a bit to get these just right – the whole wheat flour changes things. At first I overcompensated for its additional dryness, and they spread out too much, but finally, I got them where I wanted them. I might have to make them a few times for these to become a “by heart” recipe, but I don’t have much doubt about that happening.baking whole wheat lemon ginger sconesIf you prefer, these can be made entirely with all purpose white flour – just reduce the buttermilk by a quarter cup or so. white whole wheat flour is worth looking for – it is lighter in texture than regular whole wheat, which keeps these scones from becoming too heavy.lemon ginger scones cooling on rack

Whole Wheat Lemon Ginger Scones
Recipe type: Quick Breads - Scones
Serves: 12 scones
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¾ white all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 large lemons [about 2 tablespoons, packed]
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 & ½ cups confectionery sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º, and line a large, heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder and soda and the salt.
  3. Mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, grated ginger and buttermilk together.
  4. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, and fold together, using a rubber spatula or large wooden spoon. Fold, just until combined.
  5. Flour your work surface generously, and dump all of the dough onto it. Knead briefly, just until the mixture comes together in a ball.
  6. Pat out in to an 8 Inch by 8 inch square - it should be about a inch thick.
  7. Use a 2 inch biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, and cut into 12 scones. You will probably get 9 to start with and then have to sort of shove all of the dough back into a flattened ball and cut the rest.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning half way through - they should be nicely puffed and risen, and browned across the tops.
  9. To glaze, let them cool nearly to room temperature, and dip the tops into the glaze, made by mixing together the zest, juice and confectionery sugar.
  10. These are best eaten pretty quickly. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature for a couple days, and reheated. Only glaze as many as you plan to eat right then - the glaze kind of soaks in if they sit overnight.

How to serve them is your personal preference – they are very good with butter and jam
whole wheat lemon ginger scones with jam
Or with the glaze included in the recipewhole wheat lemon ginger scones with glazeEither way, I have a feeling these will become a ‘by heart” recipe at your house too!

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