Figgy Buckwheat Scones Recipe

These jammy, fig-swirled buckwheat scones are from Kim Boyce's inspiring new book, Good to the Grain, about baking with whole-grain flours.

Figgy Buckwheat Scones

I've been waiting for months to write this post. The better part of a year, even. I'm positively itching to share this with you, so here we go. Late last summer (the lovely, gracious, talented) Luisa Weiss let me spend some time with the proofs of a baking book she was working on. She said she thought I'd like it. Which, it tuns out, was a dramatic understatement. The book she shared with me, Good to the Grain, is about baking with whole grain flours. It was written by Kim Boyce, and photographed by Quentin Bacon.

Figgy Buckwheat Scone Recipe

There aren't many people writing contemporary books on whole grain baking. Among those few, this one is special. In a sentence, a top-flight pastry chef intersects whole grain flours in her home kitchen. To back up a bit, Kim is a former pastry chef with major chops (Spago / Campanile) who left the professional kitchen to raise her family. Her book delves into her exploration of a broad range of whole grain flours, each of the twelve main chapters explores a separate flour - whole-wheat flour, amaranth flour, barley flour, buckwheat flour, corn flour, kamut flour, multigrain flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, rye flour, spelt flour, and yes...even teff flour.

Figgy Buckwheat Scone Recipe

Here's the quote I gave for the back of the book,"There was a point in my life when I realized limiting myself to baking with all-purpose flour was like limiting myself to painting with just one color. Kim Boyce's collection of beautifully rustic recipes inspires us to move enthusiastically into the rich palette of flavorful whole-grain flours and explore all they have to offer. I just can't get enough of this book."

I wrote a good amount about baking with whole grain flours in SNC, but to see what someone like Kim is doing with them is both exciting and inspiring for me. I could tell at a glance, wow, she's really excited about them too. It felt good to know someone like her was (mostly ;) having fun exploring this range of flours and this approach to baking. I love seeing what she is doing, and now I know who to email when I'm stumped.

I could write an entire post about the photography in Good to the Grain, but I'll save that for another day. Instead, I'll leave you with a few notes related to the Figgy Buckwheat Scones I baked last weekend. They're a bit of a project, but a fun one requiring two main components - the obscenely addictive fig butter (dried figs, port wine, red wine, spices, sugar) and the buckwheat scone dough. Make the fig butter ahead of time, and the scone dough is a breeze to pull together. They're complex and jammy with a hint of sweetness and lots of flavor coming from the magical collision of the caramelized sugars in the fig butter and the hot baking sheet.

Related links:
- Kim Boyce (on twitter)
- Cheryl writes about Kim's muesli (here)
- Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours

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Figgy Buckwheat Scones

Kim's notes: I was inspired to create a scone with buckwheat and figs when I realized how similar they are. Both are ripe and jammy, almost winey. Imagine a sophisticated Fig Newton but less sweet. Although this scone recipe may seem a bit more time-consuming than others, remember that the Fig Butter can be made ahead of time.

Dry mix:
1 cup / 4.75 oz / 135 g buckwheat flour
1 1/4 cups / 5.5 oz / 160g all-purpose flour
1/2 cup / 2.5 oz / 70 g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Wet mix:
4 ounces / 113 g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups / 10 fl. oz / 300ml heavy cream

1 cup / 8 oz Fig Butter (see recipe below)

1. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter.

2. Add the butter to the dry mixture. Rub the butter between your fingers, breaking it into smaller bits. Continue rubbing until the butter is coarsely ground and feels like grains of rice. The faster you do this, the more the butter will stay solid, which is important for the success of the recipe. (HS note: for those of you who like to make short doughs in a food processor, that is what I did, and it worked out great).

3. Add the cream and gently mix it into the flour with a spatula until the dough is just combined.

4. Use a pastry scraper or a spatula to transfer the dough onto a well-floured surface. It will be sticky, so flour your hands and pat the dough into a rectangle. Grab a rolling pin and roll the dough into a rectangle that is 8 inches wide, 16 inches long, and 3/4 inch thick. If at any time the dough rolls off in a different direction, use your hands to square the corners and pat it back into shape. As you're rolling, periodically run a pastry scraper or spatula underneath to loosen the dough, flour the surface, and continue rolling. This keeps the dough from sticking. Flour the top of the dough if the rolling pin is sticking.

5. Spread the fig butter over the dough. Roll the long edge of the dough up, patting the dough as you roll so that it forms a neat log 16 inches long. Roll the finished log so that the seam is on the bottom and the weight of the roll seals the edge.

6. Use a sharp knife to slice the log in half. Put the halves on a baking sheet or plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. (The dough can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 days.) While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

7. After 30 minutes, take both logs out of the refrigerator and cut each half into 6 equal pieces about 11/4 inches wide. Place each scone flat, with the spiral of the fig butter facing up, on a baking sheet, 6 to a sheet. Give the scones a squeeze to shape them into rounds.

8. Bake for 38 to 42 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The scones are ready to come out when their undersides are golden brown. They are best eaten warm from the oven or later that same day.

Makes 12 scones.

Fig Butter Recipe

Kim's headnotes: In this recipe, dried figs are cooked in a syrup of sugar, red wine, port, and spices, and then puréed until very smooth. Adding butter at the end gives the jam a wonderful richness and a beautiful gloss. Once finished, the fig butter can be smeared over the dough in Figgy Buckwheat Scones (above), creating a flavor-packed spiral. The scone recipe requires only half the amount of fig butter made here, so reserve the remaining spread for your morning toast--or use all the fig butter at once by doubling the scone recipe.

1/2 cup / 2.5 oz / 70 g sugar
2 whole cloves
1 star anise
1 cup / 240 ml red wine
1/2 cup / 120 ml port
12 ounces / 340 g dried Black Mission figs, stems removed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces / 113g unsalted butter, softened
salt to taste (hs: suggestion)

1. To poach the figs, measure 1/4 cup / 60 ml water and the sugar into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir the mixture together with a wooden spoon, incorporating the sugar without splashing it up the sides. If crystals do get on the sides of the pot, use a clean pastry brush dipped in water to wipe them off. (The goal is to prevent the syrup from crystallizing.) Add the cloves and star anise.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil over a medium flame and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the syrup is amber-colored. For even coloring, the flame should not come up around the outside of the pot.

3. Add the red wine, port, figs, and cinnamon, standing back a bit, as the syrup is hot. Don't panic when the syrup hardens; this is the normal reaction when liquids are added to hot sugar. Continue cooking the mixture over a medium flame for 2 minutes, until the sugar and wine blend.

4. Reduce the flame to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The figs will burble quietly as they are jostled together by the flame; they are ready when the wine has reduced by half. Remove the pan from the stove and cool to room temperature.

5. Fish out the star anise and cloves. Pour the cooled figs, with their liquid, into a food processor and purée until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the softened butter to the fig paste and process until smooth. (HS note: At this point I folded in a few big pinches of salt as well).

The fig butter can be spread right onto the buckwheat scone dough or stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. If it is refrigerated, bring it to room temperature before using.

Makes 2 cups.

Reprinted with permission from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2010)

Prep time: 100 minutes - Cook time: 45 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Hi Heidi! You're the second person in less than three days I've heard talk about this book,and it's definitely on my wishlist :) the scones look great, and i have some fig jam in the pantry that i made in the start of fig season. can't wait to try! also, wanted to let you know i made a version of ribollita since i was inspired by your post a few weeks ago. here's the link to it! thanks for all the natural, healthy inspiration :)

heather @ chiknpastry

That is one gorgeous scone!

12th Man

Wow, these are stunning. I am definitely going to have to consider incorporating whole grain flours into my menu items. These scones have such a lovely, homey look to them

Laura @ McCaffrey's Baking

You are so very kind Heidi! Thank you for rallying around this cookbook and reaching so many people with your post. It's nice to have a friend in the whole grain world as it can sure get lonely in the kitchen with those darn flours.


Wow, you (and Kim) are so's nice to see that I can have cooking role models with knowledge of health without sacrificing creativity or taste. On another note, I am a food writer for the paper at my college in Portland and would be honored to cover your new book when it comes out. I've wanted to email you, but can't find it anywhere on the site, so here is mine: [email protected] Looking forward to enlightening my peers on your awesomeness!


Where to start--I really like everything about this. The fig butter and whole grain scone sounds absolutely delicious. And, I can't wait to get a look at the book.


Is there anything you could use to substitute for the wine?


Thanks for posting this--the recipe looks delicious, and the book seems really interesting. I love baking with whole wheat flour, and this book would probably introduce me to a whole other spectrum of whole grains. Thanks again!


Thanks for opening my eyes to this amazing books. I will definitely have to get it!


Mmmmm another great idea to use buckwheat flour. Many thanks for this – I adore figs and that darker, earthier taste of buckwheat. Looking forward to trying this out. Oh, and the book's gone straight to my Amazon wishlist...

Zoë @rumandreason

Yum! I am LOVING this book—it is really unlike any other I've seen. I baked the spelt-carrot muffins this week. Perhaps I'll make these scones next.


Having recently posted a buckwheat cake on my blog and discovering the product for the first time, I am thrilled to see this recipe and find out about the book. Can't wait to see what else I can cook up with it. The fig scones will be next.


WOW! What a great idea! Oh I love this!

Simply Life

I didn't even make it through the whole post before I went and added this book to my Amazon shopping cart. Whole grain baking is always something that makes me nervous - I'm only adventurous enough to sub WW flour for AP (and only sometimes!) Plus since the first time I had a fresh fig last summer I have come to love them (fresh and dried). Anyway, I have a whole mess of flours in my freezer that I just don't know how to use. Can't wait to get this book!


Thank you so much for recommending this cookbook! I hadn't heard of it yet and will check it out right away. I bake most of the time with wholegrains, and am always looking for good recipes.

The Cooks Next Door

Dan Lepard is a wonderful baker who also uses whole grain flours a lot There are some great recipes by him on


That cookbook sounds really neat. I am always looking for ways to make baking more healthy.

Michelle @ HeathyEatingRoadmap

These look amazing!

the wicked noodle

I bet my husband would love these. Kind of like grown of fig newtons :D

christie @ honoring health

This is just what I've been looking for, I'm not confident enough to just substitute wholegrains. The book is ordered and on it's way.


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