Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Svenska scones

Life hums along here at Casa del Osos as we enter February. Right on cue, the weather warmed up significantly this week; yesterday afternoon, we played in the backyard without jackets! We're busy with school projects, music and ballet lessons, evening work at home for the Bear and plenty of driving for me. There's a lot to do but we're happy this way. Another Private Friday is right around the corner! I think we're headed back to Lowe's to look at paint again, but hey, we'll be together and there should be time for a kid-free meal in there too.

The Bear and I recently started exercising together in the evenings, after the kids have gone to bed. We have long had stands for our bicycles to make them work like stationary exercise bikes and have used them separately, but we've decided to try to ride together when we can. It's been years since we had time to do active things together, which we used to enjoy a lot. We're just riding bikes in the garage, but we're side by side and it's more motivating to do it together. The Bear has been a runner for years but lately has been sidelined by a knee injury, so the bike is a good choice for him. Actually, he will be having knee surgery in about a month, to repair a couple of different injuries to the same knee. We've been busy planning life around his recovery period. March is usually a pretty busy month for us, but good knees are kind of a big deal.

I'm still enjoying my winter cooking and baking, though of course if I'm riding my bike like the Wicked Witch of the West in the garage, I should watch what I'm eating too. I haven't baked very many decadent treats lately, but I have made a few lighter things like quick breads and Bisquick-based breads. I tried another recipe from Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall - Svenska scones, which were easy and tasty. I'd actually never made scones from scratch before (Trader Joe's sells a nice just-add-water mix and I've made those lots). I love scones, but have mostly had sweet ones. Svenska scones are interesting because they are savory, with caraway seeds and sunflower seeds, but no sugar at all. I only made one change, which was to reduce the butter by a tablespoon (I don't think it affected the dough). I made them on a Tuesday night to eat alongside bean-and-ham soup; they were quick and almost effortless (no kneading!), which is the best kind of baking for a Tuesday night.

Svenska scones
(from Fika)

1 teaspoon whole caraway seeds
3 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
2 3/4 cups (13.75 ounces, 390 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces, 71 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (240 milliliters) milk

Preheat the oven to 480 degrees F (250 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Toast the caraway seeds and the sunflower seeds together in a frying pan over medium heat. When the seeds start to color and have a nice aroma, turn off the heat and remove them immediately from the pan. Place the seeds in a bowl and let them cool for a few minutes.

Sift the flour together with the baking powder and salt. Add the butter in small pieces and work together with your fingertips until the dough resembles a coarse meal. Mix in the seeds; then stir in the milk and mix together quickly to get a semisticky dough. Don't knead the dough.

Divide dough into 2 equal parts and shape them into 6-inch (15-centimeter) rounds. Place the two rounds 2 inches apart on the baking sheet and, using a knife, score into quarters, cutting only part way through the dough. Poke a pattern into the top of the scones with a fork. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the scones are a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before breaking along the scored lines into quarters. Serve warm.

We thought the scones were delicious! They were not as crusty as some scones I've tried; they had more of a soft texture, like a buttermilk biscuit (which has always been my favorite part of eating at KFC, thank you very much). We liked the seeds too; the sunflower seeds gave a subtle nuttiness, with a gentle hint of caraway's distinctive flavor. The GB said she could taste the butter, even with the reduction I made. All in all, a great recipe. Fika makes me happy. It's such a lovely little book, full of interesting new-to-me recipes, and I still so glad I found it.


  1. Mmm, they look absolutely delicious. Well done on that cycling, I'm most impressed. I hope the Bear's knee surgery goes well and that he has a swift recovery. I can imagine that cycling is a lot easier on the knees than pounding the pavements. Enjoy the rest of the week Jennifer. CJ xx

  2. These look so amazing Jennifer, Im definitely going to try them. I'm going sugar free for Feb so this fits the bill perfectly. Thanks for sharing,

  3. The scones look delicious Jennifer and I have a husband who likes baking! I think we'll be giving these a try! J x

  4. wow those scones look delicious! funny how a lot of people bake with sugar a lot & mostly it's not necessary, i often omit sugar out of many recipes, if it needs sweetener i use honey. wonder if these can be made with smelt flour & without the milk?
    hope the bears knee surgery goes well & he has a speedy recovery!
    thanx for sharing

  5. that should read *spelt flour not smelt lol

  6. The scones remind me very much of the drop biscuits I sometimes make. It's a handy technique, and you can add in whatever you have on hand at the moment - mine usually end up being cheese and herb. Really crusty scones, by the way, usually get their texture by being brushed with egg or egg white before baking.

    Enjoy your trainer rides! Knees are very important indeed; best wishes to the Bear for a safe surgery and a speedy recovery. It's good that he's strengthening them up with cycling beforehand.

  7. It sounds like you and your husband have a good system by biking for exercise in the garage. Sounds fun.. I'm back in the pool after a long break due to a cold/bronchitis. It was hard to go there today as it's freezing cold with killer winds. But I did it! Those scones look divine. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  8. They look delicious, I make something very similar using mustard seeds and cheese perfect to go with soup for a decadent lunch. Hope all goes well with your husbands surgery and wishing him a speedy recovery. The bike rides in the garage sound fun.

  9. No Jackets!!! I can only imagine in a few months when we can go jacketless. Let alone no winter coats, mittens and hats! It's 5F right now! Those scones look delicious. I'm trying to lose some weight so trying to avoid sweets since I have very limited mobility right now. I hope all goes well with the knee surgery. I'll be praying for him...would you let us know when it is? Have a lovely day Jennifer.

  10. I love that you and your hubby are exercising together! Makes it more tolerable, that's for sure. Me and my husband take walks after dinner together on the evenings where he gets home at a decent time. And not in the winter - too cold here. We have a treadmill (or dreadmill, as I call it) in the basement, but I absolutely hate that thing. Doesn't help that it's in the basement either. So, I make sure I stay active in the winter by parking my car far away from the entrances to stores and I also walk the perimeter of stores when I'm in them. I haven't been 100% with that lately though, as my knee has been in lots of pain. Like your hubby, I'm having knee surgery, too! Mine is on March 1st, for a meniscus tear. At least it'll be arthroscopic. How about your hubby? Anyway, this might sound silly, but I also dance in the living room to upbeat music when no one is home. ;-) And I do yoga most every day, along with PT exercises for my knee and shoulder. This aging thing is for the birds!

    Can't believe you have such nice weather already. It is only 21 degrees here today, though I won't complain because the sun is finally shining. We haven't seen the sun in at least two weeks! We set a January record for so many cloudy days in a row.

    Your scones look delicious. I haven't had savory ones either, only the sweet ones. I've made my own a few times but they didn't turn out very well. I never use mixes, so I didn't try that. But I've had scones from bakeries in the past. Just not recently since I'm doing no sugar and no wheat/flour when possible.

  11. Your savoury scones look delicious, and what a nice accompaniment to soup instead of having bread! The cycling is such a great idea, and lovely that you can do it together. Hope your husband's knee surgery goes well and he recovers speedily.
    Helen xox

  12. You scones are so pretty in a rustic-kind of way. I could almost smell those seeds toasting as I read. I love caraway. Good for you guys for exercising more. Wish I could get some motivation.

  13. Your scones look delicious. I have a love hate relationship with caraway seeds but I am willing to give them a chance. Love the idea of exercising together, it sounds like fun. x

  14. I always love when I see in my feedly feed that you have a new post up!!! how lovely those scones! and paired with that soup, oh how delicious!!! My Husband and I are trying to figure out how to incorporate more excercise into our lives; we don't have room for bikes or anything (city living) but are hoping that we can start taking walks again soon... and maybe one tomorrow, to a local coffee shop for ginger tea and maybe a small 'ginger shot' juice... :)

  15. They look delicious. It's sunny here today though the forecast is for it to get colder again next week, spring can't come quick enough for me. Hope the Bear's surgery goes well, Mick's suffered with his knees for years but won't get them seen to.

  16. They do look delicious. I've baked scones before but sweet ones that we have with jam. Savoury scones must go really well with soups and stews.
    Enjoy your Private Friday!

  17. I've got my eye on that fika book and am really hoping someone gives it to me for my birthday! Those scones look delicious. I tend to associate scones with jam and cream, but you've reminded me about savoury scones and I think it's high time I made some cheese scones. xx


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