We are a bit spoiled living so close to San Francisco. We could eat every meal of every day at a new place and never reach the last restaurant. There are iconic steakhouses, out of this world oysters harvested right out of the bay and arguably the best bakeries in the state. The Mission, an uber hip neighborhood in the sunny part of the city, is home to a whole bunch of the best eateries in the city. Our church is located in the Mission which could be a coincidence, but it's entirely possible we chose the church we attend based on the quality and quantity of food options for after church brunching. Not really, it's an amazing community of the best people (but really though, the foooooood).
About a block from the front steps of our church is a little bakery called Tartine. It's a San Francisco staple. People line up 45 minutes before they even open the doors in hopes of getting a piping hot ham and cheese croissant and to snag a tiny table on which to enjoy said croissant with a cup of strong coffee. It's a small place but what they lack in space they make up in sugary carbs or flaky carbs with cheese or just straight carbs in the form of a loaf of bread that weighs more than a newborn human baby. The place is magical really.
I try to hold myself back from going there every single Sunday. That takes a lot of self discipline, of which I am seriously deficient. The last time we went I had one of their buttermilk scones with currants. I already had eaten my ham and cheese croissant, but what could a little bit of scone hurt? Well, it was absolutely delicious, which caught me off guard because I was thinking I would just give it a taste, expecting just a normal, mostly boring scone. I mean, I'm comparing this to a ham and cheese croissant, a scone can't compare, right? Really wrong. The scone was awesome and we at the whole thing. AFTER we both ate a ham and cheese croissant. See why I can't go there every Sunday?
If I thought that going to Tartine every Sunday was a bad idea, baking an entire batch of scones probably isn't the most brilliant idea either. Sure, I threw some whole wheat flour in there, but there's also butter and chocolate and they're drenched in a sugar and butter coating. Yep. Good thing my husband doesn't mind taking these types of things to work with him.
I like this riff on Tartine's currant scones. The chocolate makes these a real treat and the tartness of the cherry balances things out. They aren't as airy as the original version on account of the whole wheat flour, but I like that they feel substantial. I cut these into wedges and after the fact, I really wished I had just cut them into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife. Feel free to do that if you'd like, I think it would be easier to get even sized scones. I'll do that next time.
cherry, chocolate + almond scones
adapted from Tartine
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus more for dusting)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, very cold and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, cold
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate pieces (or chips)
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if mixing by hand), sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Attach the paddle to the mixer and spread the butter over the flour mixture. Turn the mixer onto low and break down the butter until it is the size of peas and the mixture looks more like wet sand. If you're mixing by hand, use a pastry blender or your fingers to break up the butter, working quickly to keep from heating the butter too much.
- Add the orange zest, buttermilk, dried cherries, chocolate and almonds all at once. Mix until just combined. The mixture will be moist.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press into a rectangle that is 18" by 5" and about 1 1/2" thick. Cut into 12 triangles. Brush with melted butter and top with a generous amount of sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately.