Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sweet Potato Scones

I've been toying with scone recipes for a long time and the truth is that it is difficult to get a good result without a lot of fat. And, because I don't sell my recipes as something that they are not, I will say that these are not like your fluffy, flaky butter-filled scones. They are more like the offspring of a biscuit and a scone. Actually, they are rather similar to the type of thing that I buy prepackaged at Starbucks in Japan, only moister, a bit lighter and, of course, less unhealthy.

In order to allow the whole wheat flour to absorb more moisture, I place the dough in the refrigerator and allow it to rest overnight. This also has the benefit of allowing me to eat a freshly baked scone for breakfast, but it does mean that I have to bake them early in the morning. I think that it would be enough to place the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours if you'd rather not wait all night. In the first experiment with these scones, I baked them immediately and used less liquid and it caused the scones to be rather dense. They were fine, but I didn't like the texture as much as these.

I used reduced fat margarine in order to reduce the calories, but if you have an aversion to these types of processed fats, you can just use butter, but it'll add about 15 calories per scone. The sweet potato is Japanese sweet potato in my case, but any type of sweet potato should work. The sweet potato adds moisture as well as flavor and helps substitute for the lack of sugar. An egg-white wash will make the tops crispy when they come fresh out of the oven, but they will get soft after being stored. If you want to revive the crispy external shell, wrap the scones in foil and heat them in a toaster oven for about 10 minutes before eating. You could also simply try toasting them without the foil, but I'd keep a solid eye on them (I did not try this).

The type of flour that you use will have a profound effect on the result of these scones, more so than some of my other recipes. I recommend reading my post on "working with whole wheat flour" and determining if your flour is less absorbent than mine (generally based on whole wheat flour type and grain size). If you're uncertain, add only half of the liquid initially and slowly add in more until your dough reaches the stated consistency.

 Sweet Potato Scones (sugar-free, whole wheat, reduced fat):
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. reduced fat (50%) spread (margarine)
100 grams/3.5 oz. sweet potato (cooked and cooled)
1/4 cup Splenda granular
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, separated into yolk and white
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tsp. vinegar
  1. Add the vinegar to the milk and allow to rest.
  2. Place the flour, salt, Splenda, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and fat spread in a bowl and work the spread into the flour with a fork.
  3. Roughly mash the sweet potato. There can be some small pieces, but not large ones.
  4. Add the mashed sweet potato (approximately 2/3 cup of roughly mashed potato) to the flour mixture. Mash the potatoes into the flour mixture with a fork.
  5. Whisk the egg yolk and half of the egg white (reserve the rest for the wash), vanilla, and skim milk and pour it into the center of the flour mixture.
  6. Use a fork to work in the moist ingredients but don't overwork it. The dough should be wet but be able hold its shape for a short time before spreading. If it is too wet, add in a tablespoon of flour until it firms up a bit.
  7. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and pat the dough into it. Refrigerate for 2-12 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C./425 degrees C.  
  9. Pull the dough from the loaf pan using the plastic wrap. Carefully cut the block into thirds then cut each third diagonally in half to make triangles. If the dough seems too wet for cutting, you can just use a spoon to make drop scones.
  10. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet or silicone baking sheet.
  11. Roughly beat the egg white and brush the tops only of each scone with the egg white.
  12. Bake for 25 minutes. Place on a rack to cool if not eating immediately.

Serve with honey, butter, jam, or just enjoy them plain.

 Nutrition information courtesy of the SparkRecipes calculator:


  1. HOT damn.. healthy scones.. darn, that' means I can't put a dollop of clotted cream then, right? = ) I need to get back on the wagon.. I've been lax lately....

  2. I don't know how these would work with clotted cream (which I adore). I generally like clotted cream on dense scones and these are on the lighter side. I think you might like these with the right kind of jam though!

    I had one of these this morning for breakfast with just margarine and it was really good. Next time, I'm going to try this out with pumpkin instead of sweet potato!