Maple-Walnut Buckwheat Scones with Honeyed Sage Butter

Can I let you in on a little secret?  I’m not really sure how I feel about buckwheat.  (Probably not the best way to sell you on these scones, but I have to keep it real, right?)  This was the first time I baked with it, and actually, the first time I’ve knowingly had it (other than in soba noodles, which I do enjoy).  Buckwheat is so healthy, I wanted to like it, really I did.  But it’s just so…I don’t know…grassy, maybe?

Truth be told, cardboard-y is probably a better word.

(Don’t worry, it’s not the recipe, lol!  I thought maybe there was some other issue with my scones so I made them again using only all-purpose flour – they were like a dream.)

Buckwheat, which is related to rhubarb, is gluten-free, high in fiber, and high in protein (it’s actually considered a complete protein, containing all eight amino acids).  You can find it in flour form, or as groats (which are hulled buckwheat seeds) or kasha (which are hulled buckwheat seeds that have been roasted); it’s also used to make soba noodles.

Usually its flavor is described as earthy, nutty, and sometimes slightly bitter.  I don’t know…I think I’ll give buckwheat another try in another recipe before I write it off.  If you like buckwheat, these scones are for you; if not, you can always substitute all-purpose flour for the buckwheat.  :)

(Read more about buckwheat on The New York Times, The Kitchn, and The World’s Healthiest Foods.)

A Note on the Honeyed Sage Butter:  For me, this sweet butter was the saving grace of these scones.  (Really, what couldn’t use a little bit of honeyed butter?  ;) )  I think the woodsy, pungent flavor of sage was a nice compliment to the buckwheat (yup, I still ate these scones even though they weren’t my favorite…can’t waste good food, even if it isn’t “good” to me ;) ) but if sage isn’t your thing, feel free to omit it.

Maple-Walnut Buckwheat Scones

Yields 8 to 10 scones

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 tablespoons milk, divided

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted, chilled butter, diced

1/2 cup shelled walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar or turbinado sugar (optional; for topping)

Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner.

In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, egg, and vanilla; set aside.  Measure out 1 tablespoon of milk to reserve for brushing on top of the scones.

Pulse together the buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor a to combine, then pulse in the butter a couple times until it looks like coarse meal.  Gradually stream in the maple syrup mixture while pulsing; once incorporated, gradually stream in the remaining 4 tablespoons of milk 1 tablespoon at a time just until the mixture comes together (you may not need all the milk; also, be careful not to over-process).  Transfer to a bowl and stir in the walnuts.  (Alternatively, you can make the dough by hand…just whisk together the dry ingredients, cut the butter in with a fork, and then use a wooden spoon to stir in the wet ingredients and finally the walnuts.)  Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten it slightly into a disk; wrap it in plastic wrap and chill 15 minutes in the freezer.

Turn the dough out a floured surface.  Roll or press the dough out to a circle about 7 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick.  Use a floured 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter to stamp out the scones, then gather up the dough scraps and repeat as necessary (you should get about 8 to 10 scones total).

Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet, lightly brush the tops with the reserved 1 tablespoon of milk, and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar.  Bake until light golden brown, about 9-11 minutes.  Serve with Honeyed Sage Butter.

Honeyed Sage Butter

Serves 8 to 10

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

Pinch salt

Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate to chill.  If you want to shape your butter into a log and serve it sliced, roll it into a log shape using plastic wrap before chilling, then cut it into thin slices to serve.

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23 comments to Maple-Walnut Buckwheat Scones with Honeyed Sage Butter

  • Very original and so healthy! I bet those scones taste great.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • I, too, am torn on buckwheat. It’s such an unusual flavor. I have made pancakes with it and liked them, but it’s still odd… These look really good though and the butter pairing with the sage and honey sounds like it would be such an interesting flavor compliment!

  • I’m a big fan of the sage butter, and I would probably like the buckwheat. I grew up in a town that is one of the two largest buckwheat producers in the US. So it always seemed like a normal thing—but we hardly ever used it (aside from in granola) because it doesn’t quite work the way regular flour does! Buckwheat pancakes with a partial use of BW flour are super good :)

  • I’ve never tried buckwheat. I think I’ll stick with the gingerbread instead!

  • Now see, I just learned something. I had no idea buckwheat was related to rhubarb. They seem so different! I’m not a big fan of grassy so it probably wouldn’t be my cup of tea either, but darn if you don’t make them look tempting and tantalizing as always! How’s the book going? I can’t wait to see it.

  • I love buckwheat, especially buckwheat pancakes. I have had issues with it though. I once used it instead of rye (jars are the same and I wasn’t thinking) in bread and it was VERY heavy. Then I tried making soba and got one of the worst things I’ve ever made… GRUESOME. Sticky, gluey, nasty horrid… you name it… it was bad. Seems there’s a special kind of buckwheat you are supposed to use. I’ll stick with the packaged kind (although fresh soba at a great Japanese restaurant is like silk and insanely good– that’s what made me want to try making it.)
    I like your recipe and will give it a go… hopefullly won’t turn out like my bread!

  • Buckwheat is related to rhubarb!? Huh! I would never known! I wonder if the 8 amino acids in buckwheat are just the essential amino acids since the remaining 12-ish amino acids are non-essential? I’m over thinking this! LOL!

    I’m glad you shared your uncertainty with buckwheat. I’ve thought the SAME thing. I think it can be used in the right way, but it’s not for everything! I’m glad these scones worked out, though…they look amazing. And yeah…that butter. Oh my :)

  • Lately I’ve been all about the flavored butters and flavored cream cheeses – I love the idea of a honey + sage spread!

  • I love how your recipes are always so delicious but so healthy all at the same time! My partner just told me today that he wants to lose weight *rolls eyes* i dun care i’m still gonna be him sweet treats but will convince him that it’s healthy hehe LOVE scones :)

  • And I never knew buckwheat was gluten free even better ~ and related to rhubard wow lol

  • Thanks for this healthy breakfast idea. I happen to love buckwheat, and I am glad you shared a recipe for the honey sage butter. I’ve had flavored butter in restaurants but never really thought about how they can be made at home. I’m gonna for sure try that today! =)

  • I love your honesty Faith! My husband is not a big fan of buckwheat flour and would concur with you on its taste. That butter however, he would love! :)

  • They look amazing and love the honey sage butter! I don’t think I have ever tried a buckwheat scone before but I have had it in pancakes and such. I would imagine the texture would be very different in a scone. But I love the shape :)

  • I’m right there with you on buckwheat- It’s definitely a fair-weather friend to me. You\’ve made it look completely irresistible in these scones, though!

  • Jay

    omy ..yummm….this sounds amazingly tasty..
    Tasty Appetite

  • These pictures are so gorgeous I want to dive into those scones and I don’t even like scones!!! ha! P.S. I made Soba Noodles for dinner tonight with veggies – isn’t it funny how this chilly weather makes us reach for these hearty ingredients?

  • Ah, these scones are so wholesome, but I appreciate your honesty about the buckwheat. Do you think whole wheat would be better than the buckwheat – or 1/2 and 1/2 all purpose. Either way, a warm scone with honey sage butter sounds perfect!

  • I enjoy buckwheat pancakes from time to time, so I think I would like these too. I was raised on whole foods and if we ever had pancakes, they were either whole wheat or buckwheat, so maybe that’s why I like it, b/c I was exposed to it early. I love the butter compound you came up with and glad it improved the flavor enough that you didn’t have to waste those beauties. Very was so happy to learn about it being a whole protein b/c I love finding vegan and vegetarian protein options, and was surprised it’s related to rhubarb. Thank you for always including cool info with your posts!

    • Veronica, I was very fortunate that my mom was a very healthy cook growing up, so I also grew up well acquainted with healthy foods. Even had I been introduced to buckwheat early, it’s one thing I still don’t think I’d like…it’s too grassy and heavy for my liking. There’s no accounting for taste, I suppose! :)

  • I know what you mean about buckwheat – grassy and a bit heavy. I think it always needs to be combined with another flour, playing with the proportions to get the texture right. I once made 100% buckwheat blinis & they were awful (we just picked off the smoked salmon), but tried it again with 1/4 buckwheat to 3/4 refined spelt and they were great – so don’t give up! It does lend an interesting wholesomeness (and less gluten to a wheaty recipe) that is just right for certain recipes. I would keep it savoury, however. But that’s just me. Lovely looking images as usual.

  • I dont think Id choose Buckwheat either if there was another choice, but it is healthy and the scones look very nice ( love the use of sage in the butter)

  • Even if one does not like buckwheat, the scones look divine!

  • I’ll be trying these guys out! I love scones and I think the buckwheat would work really well. :)

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Hello! I’m Faith and I write An Edible Mosaic. This is my recipe collection of international favorites and updated American classics, with an emphasis on seasonal dishes. I focus on real foods that sustain body and mind, bring people together, and make a house a home. Welcome to my mosaic of recipes.

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