Today I am delighted to share this long ferment lemon poppyseed sourdough scones recipe with you! This recipe is very simple and uncomplicated. Hands on time is minimal, with just an overnight rise, and freeze until ready to bake! I have included a refined sugar free honey lemon glaze to complete this refined sugar-free treat. The flavor can develop as well as the gluten, making them more digestible yet without compromising texture.
Long ferment lemon poppyseed sourdough scones- the background
Waking up on a weekend lured into the warm kitchen by the plesasing aroma of scones baking was a familiar event growing up. My mother made scones regularly, and especially when we had company staying over. The buttery flakiness and crispy edges created a love that has lasted into my adulthood.
I have been making my own variations of my mother’s recipe for years. She got her original recipe from an old restaruenat cookbook in our local area where I grew up. Biting into a soft warm scone fresh out of the oven alongside a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning evokes pleasant childhood memories for me, still to this day!
Although I have been baking with sourdough for over 10 years now, converting my old stand-by recipes has been a slower process. I am thrilled to be able to have delicious scones to enjoy now with the added health benefit and flavor developement of the sourdough fermentation addition.
Even though I was hesitant to venture into this experiment, these are actually much better than I anticipated! The reason being, I did not trust a cold cut butter with an overnight fermentation. I knew that the perfect texture of a just barely crispy outer layer and flakey tender middle is only achieved by the butter remaining cold and letting that moisture evaporate and create those delightful air pockets. How could this be achieved with a long ferment?
Well, the solution is to use the freezer! Freezing the scones in the freezer after shaping gives them a chance to let the butter solidify and lends a beautiful rise and flake to the scone.
The benefits of a long ferment
Sourdough that has had time to ferment has many benefits, but it also pairs lovely in a scone. The best scones I have enjoyed have either buttermilk, or some soured milk like yogurt of sour cream in them. The sourdough flavor pairs nicely in these scones and develops through fermentation without becoming too acidic or bitter. They really are a lovely treat and I am excited to have a healthier option to one of my favorite treats!
Even though this process takes longer time over all, it really is an easy way to prep the scones in advance. Scones take some time and mess to mix up and then bake. They are not known for being a quick weekday breakfast staple. But, fermenting the dough and then freezing them allows for a quick mix, then ferment, then mix, quick freeze, and you have scones ready to pop in the oven any weekend morning you fancy. You could make them at your leisure on weekday evenings in stages and then they can be popped in and enjoyed warm from the oven any weekend morning.
*(After they have frozen set on your baking sheet you can put them into a freezer bag for longer storage.)
Long ferment lemon poppyseed sourdough scones- the method
This recipe is simple. There is some time that needs to pass, but the hands on time is quite minimal.
The night before mix 2 cups flour, 1/2 coconut (or other) sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt together in a bowl.
Cut in the very cold grated butter.
Stir together the 1/2 cup sourdough starter with 1/4 cup cream. It will be crumbly.
Cover and leave out for 8-12 hrs. (Or refrigerate for up to 3 days).
Next, add a lightly beaten egg, zest from 1 lemon, 1/2 tsp. almond extract, 3 Tb. Poppyseeds, and 1 Tb. Baking powder. Mix just until incorporated, preferable with a dough whisk.
Sprinkle your working surface with a light dusting of flour and dump your dough onto the surface. Gently shape the dough into a circle patting down the edges to achieve 1“ high in the center and 1/2” at the edges.
Cut into 8 equal triangles with a sharp knife. Place the shaped scones on a parchment or mat covered cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap or foil. Freeze until frozen (1 hour- 1 week).
When ready to bake transfer mat and scones to a room temp cookie sheet and bake at 425* for 20 min. Or until the bottom is golden and set, with a slightly golden top. A toothpick inserted should have a few crumbs but no stickiness.
Cool, and glaze if desired! (Recipe below)
Long ferment lemon poppyseed sourdough scones- the ingredients
- All purpose flour or unbleached flour: 2 cups
- Baking powder: 1 Tablespoon
- 1 lemon: zest and 1 Tab. Juice
- Coconut sugar: 1/2 cup (regular sugar can be used for a lighter colored and textured scone)
- Poppyseeds: 3 Tbs.
- Salt, I use Celtic or himalayan: 1/2 tsp.
- Butter: CHILLED or frozen 1/2 cup or 1 stick (salted or not. Just adjust your salt accordingly
- Egg: 1 beaten slightly
- Heavy cream: 1/4 cup (half and half or possibly whole milk could be substituted but I wouldn’t go much lower)
- Almond extract: 1/2 tsp.
- Sourdough starter that is 75-100% hydration- active or discard (explained here): 1/2 cup
For the glaze
- Lemon juice: 1 Tab. from remaining lemon
- almond extract: 1/4 tsp.
- coconut oil: 1/4 cup
- honey: 1/4 cup
- Milk or cream; 1-2 Tabs. to thin
Tools you will need
- (Optional) kitchen stand mixer, or food processor. I prefer the processor to quickly cut the butter
- Baking sheet
- Silpat baking mat or parchment paper
- Large hole cheese grater
- zester or small grater
- measuing cups and spoons
- If mixing the night before by hand I love using a dough whisk
- Do not overwork the dough
- Very cold butter is essential, even with an overnight ferment. It creates space between the butter and flour allowing a better rise.
- Grating the butter works best, but small cubed will suffice
- Shape the dough with a slightly higher peak in the middle and more pressed down around the edges
- When combining the dry and wet ingredients in an overnight soak it will be slightly dry & crumbly. This is good! (See photos)
- If baking right away, keep your ingredients as cold as possible
- You can throw these in a freezer bag after that have set on the tray for longer storage.
- Cream is best in this recipe. You can substitute half & half or possibly whole milk, but you will have a drier less tender scone.
- Moving the frozen scones to a fresh room temperature baking sheet will help with the baking time. If you use the frozen sheet they were on, the timing will be off in the oven. Ask me how I know 😉
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Lemon Poppyseed long ferment sourdough scones- Standard version
You can make this recipe without the overnight ferment. Just mix the dry ingredients in a food processor or stand mixer. Then cut in the grated cold butter. Combine the wet ingredients together, and add to the crumbly butter mixture. Do not over mix. Shape the scones into a circle then cut in 8 triangles. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze them until ready to bake. Freezing aids the rise, but you can also bake immediately.
Long ferment version
For the long ferment version, there is just a sleep overnight and that’s it! Mix up the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the grated butter until crumbly. Combine the cream and starter together and mix until just combined with the dry ingredients. It will be rather dry and crumbly. Cover and let sit overnight 8-12 hrs. or in the fridge up to 3 days.
Add the whisked egg, extracts, zest together and add to the dough. Mix in the baking powder and poppyseeds. Stirring around, with a dough wisk preferably, until just combined. Shape into a round disk with a 1” center and pat down edges to 1/2”. Cut into 8 triangles. Place on lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze 1 hr- 1 week until ready to bake. Transfer from the freezer on the mat to a new sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 425* for 20 min. Until bottom is golden and top is slightly colored. Toothpick inserted should leave a crumb but no stickiness.
- 2 cups all purpose or unbleached flour
- 1 Tbs. baking powder
- 1 lemon: zest and 1 Tab. juice
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 3 Tbs. poppyseeds
- 1/2 tsp. salt, I use Celtic or himalayan
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick chilled or frozen butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- FOR THE GLAZE:
- 1 Tab. lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- Milk or cream 1-2 Tabs. to thin
For the long ferment version, there is just an extra rest overnight and that’s it!
1. Mix up the flour, salt, and sugar.
2. Cut in the grated butter until crumbly.
3. Combine the cream and starter together and mix until just combined with the dry ingredients. It will be rather dry and crumbly.
4. Cover and let sit overnight 8-12 hrs. or in the fridge up to 3 days.
The next day:
1. Add the whisked egg, extracts, zest together and add to the dough.
2. Mix in the baking powder and poppyseeds. Stirring around, with a dough wisk preferably, until just combined.
3. Shape into a round disk with a 1” center and pat down edges to 1/2”.
4. Cut into 8 triangles. Place on lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze 1 hr- 1 week until ready to bake.
5. Transfer from the freezer onto a new sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 425* for 20 min. Until bottom is golden and top is slightly colored. Toothpick inserted should leave a crumb but no stickiness.
I hope you enjoy these lovely healthy scones as much as we all do! Let me know in the comments below if you try them!
As always, thanks for being here!