Scones are kind of the perfect brunch food. They fulfill the sweet and carby necessity of any brunch, but they aren’t so high maintenance. You can whip them up, stick ’em in the oven and focus on the making the mimosas.
People are so quick to judge scones, though. They’re too dry, or moist, or something to do with not a “tender enough crumb”. Poor scones. They are always picked on. They’re such an easy target. And they’re almost never invited to a party. Which is unfortunate when it fulfills such a huge part of any brunch.
But these scones, these scones are the perfect solution. First, you’re making a homemade jam to fill the inside of the scone, (you’ll get points for impressiveness), which will make the scones incredibly moist. Second, and here’s the secret, they’re made with barley flour. Friends, there are a lot of people that do not know what barley flour is supposed to taste like (sweet and nutty, in case you were wondering), and if you happen to mess these scones up, barley flour can easily take the blame. It is there to take some pressure off the scone, itself. And let’s be honest, even scones need a break from time to time.
But no one will know that it is exactly the barley flour that makes the scones so perfectly delicate and substantial. Bake them perfectly, and you have such dreamy scones that they will never be questioned again.
Barley Scones with Strawberry Balsamic Jam
Strawberry Balsamic Jam (slightly adapted from here)
3 cups fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
1 cup sugar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Heat all of the ingredients over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Mash the strawberries to incorporate into sugar. Let it continue to cook until it reaches the consistency of a thick honey, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Place into refrigerator until ready to use.
Barley Scones (recipe from Good to the Grain)
1 cup + 2 tbsp. barley flour
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 stick butter
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup strawberry balsamic jam
1 tbsp. melted butter
2 tbsp. turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Crumble in the brown sugar until well incorporated into the dry mixture.
Cut butter into ½ inch pieces and rub into the flour mixture until the butter is still pea sized. Do not overmix. Mix together the egg and buttermilk. Pour into the butter mixture until incorporated. Split dough in half. Shape both of the pieces into 7 inch discs. Place one disc down on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spread jam on top of the disc, leaving a 1 inch border. Place the second disc on top of jam and let the dough sink in. Brush the melted butter on top of the scones. Sprinkle the sugar on top. Score the scone disc sandwich into 8 pieces (like a pie). Bake for 25-30 minutes until the jam is oozing out and the scone is browned. Take out of the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Cut completely through the scored scones.