Sourdough Discard Scones

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
A master-recipe for the best sourdough scones. Add in your favorite mix-ins or enjoy these plain with a little sprinkle of sugar on top. We love sourdough scones and this is the best sourdough scone recipe - perfect to make your own!

Everyone needs a good sourdough scone recipe. I love scones that are soft, flaky and tender – definitely not ones that are hard and dry (we’ve all tasted those before and that is not at all what we are going for!). I make a lot of scones, and this is my master recipe for sourdough discard scones. This recipe comes together quickly, uses up cold sourdough discard straight from your fridge and tastes delicious. Make them plain or add in lots of mix-ins, the choice is yours, but you are going to love having this master recipe for sourdough scones!

Why You’ll Love Sourdough Discard Scones

These are the best sourdough discard scones. You’ll love having a recipe that is adaptable to what you want to use – strawberries? blueberries? lemon zest? chocolate chips? Any of these or a combination of these will work in this scone recipe. Perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack, these sourdough scones are tender and delicious. And, they taste great with freshly milled flour. You’re going to love them.

Important Ingredients in Sourdough Discard Scones

  • Sourdough DiscardUse 100% hydration sourdough discard (discard coming from starter that has been fed equal weights of flour and water). If your discard is very runny, you may need a little extra flour in this recipe. Using cold discard from the fridge is best because it keeps the butter chilled, resulting in a flakier scone.
  • Flour: I used freshly milled soft wheat for these scones, but you can also use all-purpose or a soft pastry flour with the same delicious results. To discourage gluten development and produce a more tender scone, the lower the protein content the better.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder is what gives the scones their beautiful rise. It is activated by the moisture and heat when baked.
  • Unsalted Butter:  I always use unsalted butter in my scones. You can control the flavor much better when you use unsalted butter. Salt content varies between brands of salted butter, and your baked goods may come out too salty when using salted butter. If you choose to use salted butter, decrease the salt a little bit in the recipe. Use cold, chilled butter for best results.
  • Sugar: White, granulated sugar is used to sweeten the scone dough, but the scones themselves are not overly sweet. Add a glaze for more sweetness to your scones or decrease the sugar to 30 grams if you want a more savory scone.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is used in this recipe to moisten the dough and add more fat resulting in a tender scone.
  • Eggs: Eggs make the scone dough rich and delicious. I have not left them out before.
  • Mix-Ins: This part is up to you! Leave the scones plain. Drizzle on a glaze. Add in some chocolate chips. You can make these scones however you like to eat them.

How to Make Sourdough Scones

Mixing Sourdough Scone Ingredients

Dry Ingredients: Whisk together flour with sugar, baking powder, and salt. Grate in cold butter and toss everything together with a fork. At this point, add in any desired mix-ins. Fluff again until your mix-ins are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Liquid Ingredients: Whisk together the cold sourdough discard (straight from the fridge) with the eggs, cream and vanilla extract (for a sweeter scone). The key to a really good sourdough scone is in whisking until the discard has broken down and combined with the other liquid ingredients.

Mix Together: Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the dry ingredients. Use a fork to combine until the dough is moistened throughout. Knead the dough a couple of times, being careful to not overwork the gluten. Add a little extra flour or cream if needed and combine in one big ball. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a splash of cream.

Shaping Sourdough Scone Dough

Pat the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Shape into a round disc, about 8 inches in diameter. Use a bench knife and cut the disc into quarters. Then cut each quarter again until you have 8 large scones. Separate the scones, spreading them out on the parchment paper, and place the parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Note: If you prefer making 16 scones instead of 8, shape the dough into a square and cut scones into 16 smaller squares. Baking time will stay about the same, maybe a few minutes less for smaller scones.

Long Ferment Option: If you want to long-ferment the scones for the increased sourdough benefits, mix up the scone dough. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days. Bake according to recipe directions.

Baking Sourdough Scones

Before baking these scones, spread a little heavy cream over the top of each scone. Sprinkle some granulated sugar on top for a little texture and sweetness. If you are planning to make a glaze for the scones, you can skip this step. Baking scones at a high heat activates the baking powder for a beautiful rise and turns chilled butter into steamy air pockets that make the scone light and airy. Preheat the oven to 425ºF before baking these scones. Bake for 15 minutes until puffed up, flaky and baked all the way through. If you notice the scones are browning too quickly on the bottom, decrease the heat or place a baking stone on the rack below the scones. Let cool completely and enjoy!

Amy’s Recipe Tips

  • Cold sourdough discard makes these scones extra flaky and delicious. Use your discard chilled when possible – it keeps the butter cold, resulting in lots of layers.
  • This recipe works very well with freshly milled whole wheat flour. I love using a soft white wheat flour in this recipe. You can also substitute half whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour with good results.

Substitutions

This is a master scone recipe. It is perfect for adding about 1-2 cups worth of mix-ins into the scone dough. Here are some ideas:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Strawberries or blueberries
  • Dried fruit and chopped nuts
  • Zest from oranges, lemons and limes

How to Store Leftover Sourdough Scones

Leftover scones can be placed in a ziplock bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to a couple months. This helps preserve the moisture in the scone. When you’re ready to eat them, defrost and warm them up just a little. Enjoy!

If you liked this, you’ll also like…

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you buy your whole wheat flour?

I love using freshly milled whole wheat flour in this scone recipe. Freshly milled soft white wheat is my preference. I purchase these wheat berries and mill them in my Nutrimill harvest grain mill. You can substitute a store bought whole wheat flour if desired or use all-purpose flour.

The scone dough is too sticky. Help!

Add a little extra flour to your scone dough. Discard is not always going to have the exact same amount of liquid in it – it is dependent on where it was in the fermentation cycle, so it’s possible you may need to add a little extra flour or a little extra heavy cream to your dough.

I want these scones to taste sweeter. What should I do?

If you want a sweeter scone, I recommend leaving off the sprinkle of sugar and adding a glaze on top. Whisk together powdered sugar with heavy cream (and a flavored juice if desired) until you get a thick, pourable consistency. Pour it over the top of the scones and enjoy.

Can I cut these into smaller pieces?

Yes. If I’m making this recipe for a crowd or just want a smaller portion size, I will pat the scone dough into a 10 by 10 square and cut it into 16 sections. This makes square-sized mini scones that are perfect for a brunch or breakfast. Baking time is the same.

Can I make the best sourdough scones ahead of time?

Yes. These are great to make ahead of time. Mix up the dough, separate into pieces and then freeze the scone dough overnight or up to a month. Bake scones immediately from the freezer, adding on a couple of minutes to the bake time.

Should I chill scone dough before baking?

Using cold sourdough discard, straight from the fridge and cold ingredients keeps these scones fairly chilled. But if you want to ensure flaky layers, chilling them is a good idea. I would stick them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to chill. Alternatively you can freeze the scones for up to a month and bake straight from the freezer – just add a few minutes on to the bake time.

Sourdough Discard Scones

Amy
A master-recipe for the best sourdough scones. Add in your favorite mix-ins or enjoy these plain with a little sprinkle of sugar on top. We love sourdough scones and this is the best sourdough scone recipe – perfect to make your own!
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8 scones

Ingredients
  

  • 380 grams all-purpose flour see recipe notes for freshly milled flour, about 2.5 cups
  • 90 grams granulated sugar about 1/3 cup
  • 13 grams baking powder about 1 Tablespoon
  • 4 grams salt about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 113 grams unsalted butter about 8 Tablespoons
  • 2 large eggs about 100 grams
  • 100 grams sourdough discard about 1/2 cup
  • 60 grams heavy cream about 1/4 cup
  • 4 grams vanilla extract about 1 teaspoon
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream for brushing on top
  • sprinkle of granulated sugar for topping the scones

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  • To a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Grate the cold butter into small pieces and whisk into the flour mixture until the little pieces of butter are spread throughout and coated with flour. If you're using mix-ins, add them now – coating them in the flour mixture.
  • To a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, sourdough discard, heavy cream and vanilla until smooth and incorporated. Note: If you are using a "wetter" mix-in like fresh fruit ie: strawberries or blueberries, you may need to add a little extra flour when mixing.
  • Add the liquid to the flour mixture and stir together with a fork or spoon until moistened and sticking together. If you have a lot of flour leftover in the bowl, add a little extra cream a teaspoon or so at a time until it comes together. Scone dough will resemble pie dough more than cookie dough. Knead it once or twice until all the flour is incorporated. If your dough is too wet, add a little extra flour and knead a few more times, doing your best not to over-mix.
  • Pull out a sheet of parchment paper and lightly flour it. Turn the dough out and pat into a circular shape, about 8-10 inches round and 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife or a bench knife, cut the scones into eight triangular slices.
  • Place the parchment paper with the scones on it on top of a baking sheet. Separate the scones so they aren't touching. At this point you can freeze the scones for later baking or freeze to chill the scone dough for a few minutes for more flaky layers – this is optional.
  • Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream and sprinkle granulated sugar on top. Alternatively you can leave off the cream/sugar topping and make a glaze instead like I do in these cranberry orange scones.
  • Bake the scones for 14-16 minutes at 425ºF (depending on how crispy you want the edges). Once scones are finished baking, pull them out of the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

Freshly Milled Flour: I love using freshly milled flour in these scones and substitute equal amounts of freshly milled flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe. I purchase these soft white wheat berries and mill them in my Nutrimill Harvest Grain Mill. 
Sourdough DiscardIn order to avoid a strong sourdough flavor, use sourdough discard that is fresh or no more than a day or two old. I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard. If your discard is very runny, you may need a little extra flour in this recipe.
Make-ahead option: Freeze the scones before baking and keep frozen for up to a month. When you’re ready to bake them, preheat the oven and bake, adding a few extra minutes to the bake time. 
 
Keyword homemade sourdough scones, sourdough discard scone recipe, sourdough discard scones, sourdough scone recipe, sourdough scones
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. Thank you for this recipe! How do you adjust if it’s a wet fruit, such as strawberry? Mine came out too wet after adding the fruit. Thank you.

    1. I would add a little more flour if you can. Adding in those “wetter” mix-ins I like to toss them with the flour mixture, then add the liquid – and if I know the berries have more liquid in them I’ll hold back some or all of the milk in the recipe OR add extra flour. Then while combining the dough I try not to squish the berries too much (I know it’s hard!). Hope that helps! I updated the recipe to reflect that for more “wet” mix-ins.

      1. Thank you! I did it with chopped fresh strawberries, reduced the milk and they came out great.

  2. Great recipe. Really like to try. But can’t eat egg. Is there any substitute or can I add more cream to replace the egg?

    1. I haven’t made them without the egg. Do you have a substitution you usually use? I would probably do that or try replacing with more heavy cream.

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I’m new to sourdough and am experimenting with discard recipes. I made these for the first time (with diced strawberries and cream cheese) and they were eaten so fast I made them again 2 days later…and again 3 days after that (with chocolate chips this time!). Everyone who tries these loves them. This has definitely become a family favorite!

  4. oh my goodness! These scones are fabulously delicious! Added in strawberries. Extra special scones for sure. I’mma try the cranberry orange next. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

    Serena

    1. Yes. I would mix the dough, shape the scones and then refrigerate them once shaped. Bake straight from the fridge.