Recipe

Pomegranate, Chocolate and Lemon Sourdough Discard Scones or Biscuits

These American-style scones (or biscuits) are a delightfully easy and quick way to use up any sourdough discard. They are deliciously studded with pomegranate, lemon and a good handful of dark chocolate just because. Whip them together for afternoon tea or an after-school snack.

Pomegrantes are such a beautiful fruit and their crimson seeds remind me of Christmas. They are also really good for you and filled with lots of great vitamins. When Mr R was in playgroup, he used to call it red corn! I usually love adding pomegranate seeds to a yoghurt bowl for breakfast or tossed in salads but this time I wanted to try baking with them, just like cranberries or raisins.

I love sourdough discard recipes and this recipe for American-style scones was inspired by Rosehill Sourdough. These sourdough discard scones are so easy and so delicious and I knew this combination of the tart pomegranate with chocolate and lemon zest would be a winner. I also added extra wholemeal flour as i knew the richness of the butter in the scone could handle the added fibre. The recipe also uses maple syrup and is refined-sugar free. So there is some healthy stuff in there too.

Just as an aside, I think it is worth clarifying the difference between American-style scones aka biscuits versus the British scones which is the type I knew growing up in Australia. American-style scones are usually served in triangle wedges and are often, if I use the ones at Starbucks as a reference, to be consumed without condiments due to the richer butter and sugar content. British scones are a lighter affair, served round and tall, to be eaten with cream and strawberry jam.

So to be clear, these are sourdough discard American-style scones. If you’re not sure about them, you need to try them first and then compare the two. They’re not at all the same and I would say these scones are more cake like, crusty on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. They are very adaptable to any sort of add-ins you like too: nuts, apple pieces and cinnamon, raisins or blueberries would all be awesome substitutions. But today I am sharing a delightfully, somewhat festive combination of pomegranate, dark chocolate shards and lemon zest.

Pomegranate, chocolate and lemon sourdough discard scones next to pomegranates and lemons on a bee tea towel
Pomegranate, chocolate and lemon sourdough discard scones

A few tips and words of advice

Now regarding the very obvious nuisance with pomegranates: the removal of the actual edible seeds! The first time I tried to open a pomegranate I sliced right into it and juice went everywhere. I tried to pry the seeds out and it looked like a violent murder scene in the kitchen. But there are easier ways. One option is to whack (and I mean whack) each cut half over a bowl and the seeds will fall out into your hand and the bowl. Here is a video of this tecnique by Jamie Oliver who of course does the demonstration wearing a white shirt.

How to deseed a pomegranate

The other option is to cut just the top of the pomegranate off, this eliminates cutting through a lot of seeds and hence bleeding juice everywhere. Then make incisions into the skin to separate the segments. Tear the wedges apart and pull out the seeds into a bowl of water. The white membranes will float to the top for easy removal. Then drain the seeds and you’re done. This technique avoids a lot of juice splatter. You can see pictures of this here. I think I prefer this method but both really do work!

For the chocolate pieces, I like to roughly chop up a dark chocolate bar so there are nice chunks distributed throughout the scone and occasional melted puddle of oozy chocolate. I usually stick to a 75% dark chocolate bar but of course, any chocolate buttons or chips could be used. I recommend trying interesting chocolate bar flavours like dark chocolate and sea salt or cacoa nibs for some interest too.

So now you have your pomegranate seeds and chocolate, the only other thing you really need now is sourdough discard. What is sourdough discard?It’s the leftover starter that is kept aside or disposed of after removing a portion of your sourdough starter to feed to make a fresh loaf of bread. Sourdough discard is usually past its prime bubbly nature and can either be gifted for others to have their own starter or used in recipes that do not require the yeast to lift the dough, such as cakes and brownies or in this case in scones. This recipe does not need the discard to be fresh at all. I have made this with a week old discard and there was no issue with the end results as the acidity combined with the raising agents (baking soda and baking powder) does all the lifting needed for the scones to become fluffy inside. I have used both my sourdough starter, which is kept fed at 100% hydration (equal parts water and flour) and I have also used my fruit yeast water starter (also kept at 100% hydration). If this is all mumbo jumbo to you, that is ok! Welcome to the world of sourdough baking.

The key to the flaky nature of these scones is the buttery dough, you are essentially making a short crust pastry just like with a pie crust. The dough requires lots of little pieces of butter covered in flour so that when it bakes, it springs apart into all the lovely layers we know and love. However the nemesis of butter is warmth and that’s where our own skin temperature can work against us. I prefer to use a pastry cutter to work the butter through the flour to create the crumbling buttery flour mixture as my hands plus the Hong Kong weather tends to make pastries quite a challenge. My cutter was a long desired present my husband somehow telepathatically recognised I wanted and gifted me last Christmas.

So onto the recipe itself.

What you need

Dry ingredients

  • 275g plain all purpose flour (I often substitute up to 75g with spelt/wholemeal flour)
  • 10g baking powder
  • 2g baking soda
  • 4g sea salt
  • 113g cold unsalted butter, chopped into cubes

Wet ingredients

  • 100g sourdough discard, does not need to be fresh
  • 130g maple syrup
  • 75g pomegranate seeds
  • 50g chopped chocolate pieces
  • zest of 1 lemon

Other equipment

Pomegranate, chocolate and lemon sourdough discard scones ready for the oven on an oven tray
Sourdough discard scones ready for the oven

Instructions

  1. Preheat fan-forced oven 200C
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: flour/s, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or rub it through with your fingers until it becomes a lumpy, sand-like consistency.
  4. In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients: discard, maple syrup, pomegranate, chocolate and the lemon zest.
  5. Mix wet and dry ingredients together. When it comes together, turn it out onto a clean table top or a silicon pastry mat and knead it just to form a ball. Try not to overwork the dough.
  6. Pat the dough into a 7-8 inch round disc.
  7. Cut in into 8 wedges like a pizza, using your pastry scraper.
  8. Transfer to a lined baking tray and an optional step here is to sprinkle the tops with raw sugar.
  9. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
  10. Cool on a wire rack.
  11. Best eaten freshly baked on the same day.
Pomegranate, chocolate and lemon sourdough discard scones baking inside the oven

Notes

  1. Feel free to experiment and swap out the pomegranate and chocolate chips for other goodies such as slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, raisins, dried fruit, cubed pieces of apple or blueberries. To be honest, you can add as much or as little as the dough will handle.
  2. Keep the butter as cold as possible, which for Hong Kong means don’t take it out of the fridge until everything else is weighed and ready to go!
  3. It is nice to sprinkle the tops of the scone wedges with some raw or demarara sugar just before popping them into the oven to give them a nice crispy topping.
  4. Best enjoyed freshly baked. Store leftovers in an air tight container and reheat in the oven for a few minutes to make them crunchy again.
Pomegranate, chocolate and lemon sourdough discard scones fresh from the oven on a oven tray
Pomegranate, chocolate and lemon sourdough discard scones
Pomegranate, chocolate and lemon sourdough discard scones next to pomegranates and lemons on a bee tea towel
Try to resist one of these scones for afternoon tea

Recipe

Pomegranate, chocolate and lemon sourdough discard scones

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Pomegranate, Chocolate and Lemon Sourdough Discard Scones

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

An easy sourdough discard recipe for pomegranate, chocolate and lemon scones. They are a great way to use up excess discard and the recipe can be customised to whatever flavours and add-ins you have in your pantry.

  • Swap out the add-ins for other flavours such as blueberries, nuts, dried fruits or apples.
  • Keep the butter as cold as possible before using it.
  • You can substitute a portion of the flour for wholemeal or spelt flour. I often start with 75g of the total flour in weight. Then the rest is plain flour.
  • Credit to Rosehill Sourdough for the sourdough discard recipe inspiration.

Ingredients

  • 275g plain (or sub 75g for spelt/wholemeal flour)
  • 10g baking powder
  • 2g baking soda
  • 4g salt
  • 113g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 100g sourdough discard
  • 130g maple syrup
  • 75g pomegranate seeds
  • 50g chopped up chocolate bar
  • zest of one lemon
  • raw/demarara sugar (optional to sprinkle on top of scones)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 200C fan-forced.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: flour/s, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients.
  4. In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
  5. Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Knead together to form a dough.
  6. Pat the dough into a 7-8 inch round disc.
  7. Cut in into 8 wedges.
  8. Transfer wedges onto lined baking trays. Sprinkle with sugar (optional)
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden
  10. Cool scones on wire rack.
  11. Best enjoyed fresh on the same day.

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