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.