Wednesday 15 July 2009

Sour Skon

We went to Ikea for a new high chair on the weekend (in preparation for when Sylvia is eating solids). It is always a big undertaking to make our way through the superstore. We can’t seem to make our way to the cash register without buying something we really don’t need like a giraffe driving a strawberry. I knew you wouldn’t believe it unless you saw it so it is in the below photo.

On returning home we needed food that was simple to make and comforting to eat. I made some pumpkin soup that wasn’t great. I just didn’t put in enough seasoning but, after tossing in some cumin and dukkah, the soup was finally made edible with the addition of some honey and cinnamon yoghurt. The second night when the yoghurt was gone, I rescued it by adding vegie salt, fresh ginger and lemon juice. What really makes any soup excellent, though, is a satisfying bread. This meal was made delicious by the accompaniment of a lovely sour skon.

I found the sour skon recipe on My Kitchen in Half Cups where Tanna regularly bakes wonderful breads. Most seem too challenging for me but this one appealed because it was so simple. All it needed was a little preparation. The buttermilk and oats have to be in the fridge for a few days and stirred every day. I put mine in the fridge for four days and only forgot to stir them on one of these days. Then on the day of baking you just stir in flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and pop the dough in the oven.

The sour skon was delicious. Dense, oaty, porridgy wedges with craggy chewy crusts. They were best hot but still good the next day, if you have any left. It was great with soup but just as good with butter and honey. Tanna added caraway seeds but I left these out because I wanted them plain. I might try it with carraway or other flavourings some other time. I would love to try it with more toppings such as the blue brie that looked so meltingly good in Tanna's photo. It is so good, it would go with any topping, any meal, at any time of day.

When I told E they were from the Orkney Islands of Scotland he wanted to know where I got the recipe. ‘From a blogger?’ he asked, knowingly. But of course. ‘Is she Scottish?’ Nope. Tanna is from Dallas, Texas. Not at all where you would expect to source fine Scottish scones. But E was well impressed (although he says he has never seen scone spelt 'skon' so maybe this is an Orkney term). I know these scones will be welcome in our house any day, and will always rescue an ordinary soup.

Sour Skon
(Adapted from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads via My Kitchen in Half Cups)
Makes 8 scones

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1¼ cup buttermilk
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix oatmeal and buttermilk together. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days, stirring once a day. Tanna advised that this time was flexible if you need to leave it another day or two. It will be quite thick and claggy.

When you are ready to bake, place remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour in oat mixture. Mix just until the flour is absorbed. The dough will be very firm and thick.

Pat into a round disk of about 8 inches diameter and less than an inch thick. I did mine on a (greased) baking tray but Tanna used a cake tin. Use a sharp knife to score lines across to make 8 wedge shaped pieces.

Bake at 220 C (425 F) for about 30-40 minutes. A skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean when it is ready – mine took 40 minutes and the skewer was still a little moist but it tasted good. (That is - the skon tasted good not the skewer!) Apparently, you could also cook it on top of the stove on a griddle. Break along the scored lines to serve.

On the Stereo:
Mozart’s Requiem and Masonic Music


  1. had me at "craggy chewy crusts"!
    Everyone needs a strawberry-driving giraffe in their home :D especially if they write a blog called Green Gourmet Giraffe.

  2. Yum yum yum.
    I wonder who came up with the giraffe-in-a-strawberry concept? I'd like to witness the moment they decided to make one. Must have been much laughter!

  3. I'm the same way at Ikea, though I've never purchased a giraffe there! And can it be that Sylvia is already old enough for solids???

    The skon look fabulous. I must try this recipe!

  4. I am both terribly sad and terribly happy that there is no ikea here!

    I am loving the look of that skon! Yum!!

  5. Oh how I love the sound of these scones!! And I always have extra buttermilk that I don't know what to do with.

  6. Oh and I forgot to say that I have those same plastic Ikea dishes! I thought they were so cute and had to have them but I don't have any specific use for them. Well I put things in them when I'm cooking/baking (like an egg or chopped onion). And the strawberry giraffe car is so cute!

  7. I'm from Orkney and I've never heard of a 'sour skon' or seen that spelling of scone!

  8. Thanks Nupur - am sure our house is now complete with the the strawberry driving giraffe :-)

    Thanks Cathy - what a great job to be doing hey!

    Thanks Ricki - the skons are wonderful but sylvia is not quite into solids yet though she loves watching us eat!

    Thanks Vegetation - It is a few years since I have been to Ikea so I felt I could justify a little indulgence - it is good to have it in Melbourne for the odd trip but that is all I need

    Thanks Ashley - actually we have had some for a while and they are so useful that I had to get a few more - E couldn't work out why

    Thanks JoJo - always good to hear from a local on the topic - maybe it is a spelling for those looking for the tartan tat Scotland :-)

  9. Hehe you're right, I wouldn't have believed a giraffe driving a strawberry! Interesting recipe and sounds easy to make! :)

  10. I thought that the strawberry-driving giraffe was a flight of whimsy until I saw the photo! Who would have thought it? You make the skons sound very inviting - just right for a tasty bowl of soup.

  11. Thanks Lorraine - oh yes, very easy

    Thanks Lysy - it does sound like a flight of whimsy - which is perhaps why it was irresistable

  12. I must try these. I just love that they are soaked for a few days. Thanks for this recipe!

  13. Thanks Lisa - the soaking brings it into the 'slow food' realm


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