Bakes & More + spelt

nectarine and almond scones

I've been trying to make breakfast more of a thing recently.

I've just about taught myself to gobble down a bowl of yoghurt and granola every morning before work but I totally fail at weekend breakfasting. Which, I've decided, is a shame because weekend breakfasting seems like something that I could really enjoy.
I'm not talking about grabbing a chocolate muffin at a coffee shop (I need no help with that kind of breakfasting) but proper breakfasting with knives and forks, glasses of orange juice and maybe a napkin if I'm feeling fancy.

For someone who thinks about food an awful lot, breakfast-thoughts occupy very little of my time. If I do ever sit down to a proper breakfast, I can't help feeling like I'm missing out something. I sit there while friends linger over pots of coffee and plates of bacon and eggs and I become a child, kicking my legs impatiently under the table as I wait to be told that I can get down and get on with my day.
I think it's because breakfast has always felt to me like eating for the sake of eating - food as fuel rather than something to be savoured. Sometimes, all you need is a quick injection of fuel and that's totally fine but on a weekend morning when we have nowhere to be and nothing much to do? Then, I think I should learn how to celebrate breakfast.

I'm never going to be the kind of person who can eat a whole heap of food anytime before midday - I've been up for about five hours now and the thought still turns my stomach - but I can definitely cope with the idea of a freshly baked scone, warm out the oven with a sweet and sticky muddle of fruit in every bite.

Scones really are perfect for those kind of lazy mornings. There's nothing that you need to take out of the fridge in advance and you can use whatever you have on hand - I use different flours, different sweeteners and different liquids with casual abandon. The dough comes together in the time it takes for the oven to heat up and then, 20 minutes later, you're sitting down to breakfast.

Nectarine and almond scones Adapted from these vanilla bean and espresso scones
Yield: Makes about 6 - 8 depending on size
My scones tend to be on the less sweet side - particularly when, as with this, you have more than enough sweetness from the jammy puddles of fruit. They are best straight out the oven with a little creme friache (isn't everything?). I'm happy to eat them after a couple of days but if your tolerance for stale baked goods is less, just pop them in a warm oven for a few minutes to freshen them up.

  • 125g (1 cup) white spelt flour
  • 60g (1/2 cup) whole grain spelt flour
  • 40g (3/8 cup) ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 45g (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 120g (1/2 cup) plain yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 or 4 nectarines, roughly cubed
  • A little more milk to brush on top before baking

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a baking tray with a non-stick surface.

Lightly whisk the flours, ground almonds, sugar baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub it into the flour quickly. You can stop rubbing when it is in pea-sized lumps.
In a separate bowl or, even better, a jug, lightly mix together the yoghurt, milk and vanilla.
Pour the liquid into your dry ingredients, add the nectarines and bring everything together with a fork until you have a rough dough. You might need to use your hands to just bring it all together at the end. If it seems a little dry, you can add a splash of milk.
Gather the dough together and squash it down with your hands (I don't bother with a rolling pin). Either cut out scone shapes or just shape them by hand as I did. The secret is not to overwork the dough or twist the cutter too much as you use it as it may stop the scones from rising properly.
Brush with a little milk and then bake for 20 minutes or so until risen and golden.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

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nectarine and almond scones + spelt