A Recipe for Toasted Oat, Pecan & Flaxseed Scones

Molly Stevens' take on our Country Scones

We miss bringing in special guests to BAKE! in-person, so, throughout this year, in addition to virtual classes and events, we’re bringing chefs, authors, and friends of the Bakehouse to your kitchens via recipes created exclusively for us.

These special guests will be creating recipes that use Bakehouse breads or freshly milled flours, or that put their own spin on one of the recipes found in our cookbook or cookbooklets.

This month, we’re welcoming cookbook author Molly Stevens:

Until recently I felt stuck in a Goldilocks’ pattern whenever I attempted to create the ideal breakfast scone. Many of the standard formulas I tried turned out dry and bland, while others contained enough butter and sugar to tip them into the dessert realm. So-called “healthier” versions offered less decadent possibilities, but their leaden heft and dense texture made them not worth the trouble. My breakthrough came when I discovered the recipe for Country Scones in the wonderful Zingerman’s Bakehouse cookbook. Loaded with rolled oats, nuts, and dried fruit, and moistened with milk instead of cream, the recipe turns out a tender and flavorful scone that’s healthy enough for everyday enjoyment. 

overhead kitchen scene of experiments with scones
Scone-making experiments in process.

Being someone who rarely leaves well-enough alone—and since I’d grown accustomed to experimenting with scone recipes—it seemed only natural to add a few tweaks of my own to Bakehouse original.

For starters, I am in the habit of toasting rolled oats before making my oatmeal in the morning (the toasting makes the oats taste nuttier and cozier), so I figured they might be nice in the scones. I was right. The oats get a little chewy, too, giving the finished pastry a pleasing texture. I then swap in diced apricots for the raisins, because I love their honeyed taste and sunny appearance. I add orange zest and ground cardamom—two flavors that have an affinity for apricots, and I reduce the sugar to make a less-sweet breakfast treat. I also toss in a handful of flaxseed for textural interest and, well, because they’re good for you. And finally, I make my scones a wee bit smaller than the original to create a better ratio of crunchy outside to tender inside. I think I can finally say that I’ve found my perfect scone formula, or, as Goldilocks might say, one that is just right.

Toasted Oat, Pecan & Flaxseed Scones with apricots and pecans scattered around

Toasted Oat, Pecan & Flaxseed Scones

Servings: 18 scones

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (90 g) pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon (190 g) rolled oats
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks / 190 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) milk, whole or 2%
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cup + 2 tablespoons (305 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/3 cup (90 g) dried apricots, diced

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons milk or cream

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1 tablespoon turbinado or granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 300°F convection (325°F conventional). Spread the pecans onto a baking sheet, and toast until fragrant and lightly brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool, chop coarsely and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Spread the oats onto the baking sheet, and toast, shaking and stirring halfway through, until toasty and slightly darker, 6 to 8 minutes  Transfer to the bowl with the pecans. Let cool.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, milk, orange zest, vanilla, and egg.
  • Once the oats and nuts are cool, add the flour, sugar, flaxseed, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and apricots. Stir to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until thoroughly mixed.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and scoop the scones onto the sheets, using a scant 1/4-cup measure (or 2-oz scoop), spacing about 2 inches apart. If needed, use floured hands to gently flatten the scones to 1 1/2 inches thick. Chill the scones for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours (this helps them leaven as they bake).
  • Heat the oven to 350°F convection (375°F conventional). In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk (or cream) for the egg wash. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  • Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake until golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Serve warm, or let cool on a wire rack.
Hungry for More?

Want to do a taste-test experiment of your own? You can find the recipe for the original Bakehouse Country Scones here.

Have you missed any recipes in this special series?

Bake your way through all of them:

Molly Stevens headshot
Molly Stevens
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Molly Stevens is an award-winning cookbook author, cooking instructor, and recipe developer. Her cookbooks include, All About Dinner: Simple Meals, Expert Advice (WW Norton, 2019), All About Roasting (WW Norton, 2011), and All About Braising (WW Norton, 2004). Her recipes and articles have appeared Food & Wine, Bon AppétitFine CookingEating Well, Everyday with Rachel Ray, and other national publications.  She has been named Cooking Teacher of the Year by both the International Association of Culinary Professionals and Bon Appétit.  Find out more about her at MollyStevensCooks.com

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