Buckwheat-Rhubarb Scones

June  9, 2013
4 Ratings
Photo by Shauna Ahern
  • Makes 8 scones
Author Notes

This recipe is adapted from Kim Boyce’s wonderful baking book, Good to the Grain, which inspired me to take more pride in the gluten-free flours I have in my pantry. In an attempt to introduce more whole grains into the daily baking she did for her girls, this Spago-trained pastry chef started playing with quinoa, amaranth, and teff. What she found is that these flours have flavors. This is one of my favorite facts about gluten-free baking. You can build flavor in a baked good with the flours you choose to use.

She has a recipe for strawberry barley scones in the book. I can’t eat barley — it contains gluten. But, I do love buckwheat, with its slightly nutty taste. And since buckwheat is a member of the rhubarb family, why not pair them together?

Since Kim wrote her book, she discovered that one of her daughters is gluten intolerant. I made this recipe for Sophia as much as for you. Everyone should be able to eat good scones, warm after the baking.

What You'll Need
  • Scones
  • 115 grams buckwheat flour (preferably raw buckwheat flour — see note below)
  • 140 grams gluten-free all-purpose flour mix (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 115 grams (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup rhubarb jam
  • 3 tablespoons sugared pieces of raw rhubarb (optional)
  • Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
  • 400 grams millet flour
  • 300 grams potato starch
  • 300 grams sweet rice flour
  1. Scones
  2. Preparing to bake. Heat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combining the dry ingredients. Sift together the buckwheat flour, gluten-free all-purpose flour mix, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside the bowl.
  4. Working the butter into the dry ingredients. Add the cold butter pieces to the dry ingredients. Use your hands to work the butter into the flour, slowly, until the butter is the size of lima beans. Move as quickly as you can without becoming frantic.
  5. Finishing the dough. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Dribble them into the buttery dough. Stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together fairly well. It might still be dry in places and it should not look like a coherent dough ball. However, if you can pinch some of it between your thumb and fingers, and it holds together, you’re ready. (If the dough is still too dry, dribble a tablespoon of buttermilk at a time and stir until the dough feels right.)
  6. Shaping the dough into discs. Sprinkle a little extra gluten-free all-purpose flour mix onto the counter. Carefully, plop the dough onto the floured counter. Move the dough between your hands, folding and twisting it around, until it’s a ball of dough. Cut the ball in half. Pat each ball of dough into a disc about 3/4-inch thick and 7 inches across.
  7. Preparing the scones. Put one disc of dough onto the baking sheet. Spread the rhubarb jam onto the disc of dough carefully, leaving about 1 inch of space on the edges. If you are using the sugared rhubarb pieces, sprinkle them onto the jam now. Put the other disc of dough on top.
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut the scone dough into 8 wedges. Spread them out a bit on the baking sheet.
  9. Baking the scones. Bake the scones for 10 to 12 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet. Bake until the scones are golden-brown on top and the jam and rhubarb have bubbled onto the baking sheet, about another 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  10. Allow the scones to sit for 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.
  11. Scones really do taste best the day they are baked.
  12. Baking note: Most buckwheat flour sold in this country is the buckwheat grain toasted before being ground into a flour. Sometimes that makes for a slightly burnt taste in the buckwheat. (Also, the Bob’s Red Mill flour is made in the gluten-containing facility, making it not safe for celiacs.) I prefer raw buckwheat flour. It’s hard to find in stores but easier online. However, if you have a strong blender, you can grind the raw buckwheat groats into flour easily.
  1. Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
  2. Whisk the flours together until they are one color. Put them in a big container and shake them up. Now you have flour.
  3. For the best results, blend the flours in a strong blender to ensure the flours all have the same grind.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • EatArt
  • Jens Dream Decor
    Jens Dream Decor
  • mrslarkin
  • susan g
    susan g
  • Zensister
Shauna writes about food. Danny cooks it. We grow excited every Saturday morning to go to the farmers' market. This time of year, a Billy Allstot tomato is enough to make us look like goons at the stand, jumping up and down with excitement. We will eat one slice with sea salt, standing over the sink. Another goes to our baby daughter. The rest might go into the smoker to make smoked tomato salsa, or thrown together with watermelon and good olive oil for a watermelon gazpacho, or stacked with smoked salmon and drizzled with horseradish sour cream. Every day is new. I have no idea what we're having for dinner tonight. But I'm sure interested to find out.

12 Reviews

Betsy June 5, 2016
One small warning: I enjoyed these a lot but felt the salt was out of proportion. When I made them with 3/4 tsp instead they were even a bit oversalted, to my taste.
susan G. July 22, 2017
Did you use Kosher salt? Morton's has 1/2 the sodium of standard table salt.
EatArt July 5, 2013
I love this recipe! And I've got a giant rhubarb patch to boot!
Mari P. June 10, 2013
You can also grind raw buckwheat in a coffee grinder just fine. Sift out
any chunks and you're ready to go!
Jens D. June 10, 2013
Would love to know how to substitute for dairy free? Otherwise they look fantastic!
Zensister June 11, 2013
If you can do coconut, cultured coconut milk is my best friend when it comes to substituting out for buttermilk. Butter doesn't have enough milk proteins to cause problems for me, but if you aren't using any dairy at all, I would assume that any non-dairy spread that is firm rather than soft at room temp would work, but it might make for more spread out and flatter scones.
Naomi D. June 11, 2013
Try a combination of duck fat and lard and only use 80 per cent of the butter quantity, add extra salt at a rate of 1 per cent. Coconut oil is another option with extra salt. For butter milk you can use nut milk curdled with a teaspoon of lemon juice or cider vinegar or cultured coconut milk.
Jens D. June 11, 2013
thanks, I will try that version!
Jens D. June 11, 2013
Thanks Naomi, I like the idea of Coconut Oil, so I'll try that :)
Dan S. July 5, 2013
I'll try that as well!
mrslarkin June 10, 2013
I'm so excited to try this, Shauna! Looks like the step for cutting in the butter is missing.
Kenzi W. June 10, 2013
Thanks mrslarkin -- should be fixed now. Let us know how they turn out for you!