Herbed Spelt Scones

Fall is decidedly here in the Pacific Northwest, but that hasn’t stopped folks from lining up in the rain to snatch up warm treats from the bakery. I find myself dreaming of what to bake even on my days off, which I suppose is further evidence that autumn has arrived.

This has prompted me to read through my cookbooks as I wonder how best to kick off the coming dark months of indulgent holiday festivities and great eating–but after procuring a fish head and trimmings from a wild caught salmon fished within 20 miles of my house, I needn’t look any further for cooking inspiration.

Last night, I made Julia Child’s fish stock, simmering the fish remains gently for about an hour with a few select aromatics. As the stock grew into itself in the pot, I thought eagerly of the chowder that it is destined to become.

As the stock simmered on the stovetop gently, I leafed through a Tom Douglas cookbook (one of my favorite “big time” chefs) until my eye was caught by a savory scone recipe which he cultivated specifically to accompany seafood chowder.

After yesterday’s deluge, the crisp fall air gave way to a bright, sunny morning, and I knew today was the perfect day to tackle those scones.

chives, parsley, and lemon zest lighten up the hearty spelt flour

I snipped my herbs and zested the lemon as sunshine poured in the window. There are few scents that bring me as much genuine pleasure as that of a freshly zested lemon.

butter gets sanded into flour w salt, sugar, and rising agents, followed by herbs and lemon
dry ingredients meet buttermilk–mix gently and attentively, and not too much!

The break in stormy weather provided such sweet relief today, I even made it out into the garden after shaping my scones to harvest some late flowers. Not a bad way to spend my day off, to tell the truth.

baked at 400°F for 20 minutes, these beauties filled the house with an enticing aroma

We’ll see if I can save some for chowder later…

based off Tom Douglas’ recipe, you know these scones are a surefire hit

Herbed Spelt Scones

Adapted from Tom Douglas’ recipe from “Tom’s Big Dinners”

Yields 12 scones


  • 2 ½ c spelt flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 10 Tbs cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon zest (about ½ lemon)
  • 2 Tbs + 1 tsp snipped fresh chives
  • 1/3 c freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, pepper, baking powder and soda into a large bowl. 

Once incorporated, cut butter into dough using a pastry cutter or your fingers until it appears coarse and sandy.

Stir in herbs and lemon zest.

Add buttermilk and gently mix using a rubber spatula, a wooden spoon, or your hands until dry ingredients are incorporated, being careful not to over mix. Dough should feel wet and slightly pillowy.

Dust a flat surface with more spelt flour. Divide the dough into two balls, transferring on ball to the floured surface. Flatten the ball into a flat disk, dusting the top with flour if necessary, until it is about ¾” thick.

Cut into 6 equal triangular pieces, then repeat with second dough ball. Bake 20-30 minutes. Enjoy with butter and a glass of herbed cucumber water.

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Annette McQueen

These pictures are making my mouth salivate. What is your price per dozen? And, agreed. Anything Tom Douglas will satisfy!


Hey, thanks for commenting! These wonderful scones would be $30/dozen, and they keep up to 3 days, tightly wrapped. Tom Douglas is a winner!