Sally’s Sourdough Scones

Sourdough scones are a no-brainer.

But only if you are an avid sourdough mother fermenter!

I started my sourdough ferment decades ago.  I call her Sally and she lives in a half gallon blue Ball jar in my refrigerator.  She has a fantastic depth of flavor and character unique to her due to how I feed her.  At Art of Cookery I teach classes on sourdough so check out our schedule.  Don’t see something you are interested in?  We take requests!

But that’s a different story.

This one is about scones borne of her deliciousness.  I feed Sally weekly, adding to her volume.  However, I don’t always bake bread weekly (especially since we closed our bed and breakfast, removing the need for copious amounts of toast).  Pouring some of her down the drain to make room would be unforgiveable.  So, another use requires development (this means I have been playing in the kitchen, one of my favorite activities).  With Sally, I have recently made:

  • Sourdough pancakes
  • Sourdough chocolate cake
  • Sourdough flour tortillas
  • Sourdough scones

They were all terrific.

But, the scones seemed to have a remarkable height and delicateness that is worthy of taking the time to blog about it.  While I made cherry chocolate chip scones, you can switch it up with any dried or fairly dry fruit.  Examples are dried raisins, currants, figs, pineapple; and, diced rhubarb and apples.  Because I knew I was serving them to a group that included someone who didn’t like chocolate, I chose to top the scones with the dried cherries and mini chocolate chips so that they could be removed.  This recipe suggests you incorporate them.  You can choose either.

Photos are at the bottom so you can see texture and process clues.

Sourdough Country Scones

Prepare.  You need:

  • 2 bowls. Small and medium
  • Pastry Blender (just two knives work if you don’t have a pastry blender) AND Spoon/rubber scraper
  • 1 and ½ cup dry measure; 1 cup liquid measure
  • 1 & ½ teaspoon; 1 tablespoon measures
  • Pastry brush AND knife or bench scraper
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat


  • ½ cup raisins (or chocolate chips or dried fruit of choice, I like currants or mango/pineapple)
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 TBSP cold butter
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 3 TBSP sour cream
  • 2 TBSP orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or nutmeg)
  • Heavy cream (for patting and brushing scone tops)
  • Additional sugar (optional, for sprinkling on top)
  • Orange zest, optional


In medium mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, & salt.  Use a pastry blender to cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

In small bowl, mix sourdough starter, sour cream, orange juice, and vanilla.  Fold wet mixture into dry mixture.  Use a spoon and stir until just moistened.

Add fruit and mix only lightly.   Squeeze and press some with hands to blend fruit.  It will be sticky.  Scrape/Pour onto prepared baking sheet.  With hands wet with cold cream (to help prevent it sticking to your hands), press together and pat dough into a round shape ½ inch thick.  Sprinkle with zest and brush tops with cream and sugar if desired.  Cut dough into 8 or 16 wedges and use a pie server to slightly separate about 1/2 inch apart (or, cut and leave together.  It depends on whether you want a crisper exterior all of the way around, or soft moist sides.

Bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.   Makes 8 large or 16 small scones.


  • If doing chocolate, omit the cinnamon as the combo may not be to everyone’s tastes.
  • If using rhubarb (which is fantastic) use nutmeg and toss the diced rhubarb in a little extra granulated sugar to coat.
  • If you cut them into 16 or so pieces, they will bake faster than 8 pieces so watch for a golden kiss to tell doneness.
  • If health/weight conscious, reduce the sugar and don’t top with sugar and cream.
  • Greek yogurt works as a substitute for sour cream, lemons/lemonade work just as well as orange/orange juice, and almond (or other extract) works well instead of vanilla.  Make these have YOUR desired flavor profile.

If you make these sourdough scones, please tell me about it!!  Share a picture on our Facebook page Art of Cookery.

Photos of Sourdough Scone Making


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