Barley has very little gluten, which means it needs another agent -- all-purpose flour, in this case -- to bind it. The barley flour and bits of butter ensure the tenderness of this crumbly scone, while the jam caramelizes at the edges.
Don't skip the chilling step. We found it helped keep the layer of dough above the jam from sliding off.
Servings: 8 scones
- For the scones
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick; 113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 grams) barley flour , plus more for the work surface
- 1 cup (125 grams) flour
- 1/4 cup (55 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- For assembly
- 1/3 cup strawberry jam or marmalade
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the scones: Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone liner or a sheet of parchment lightly coated with nonstick spray.
Sift the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl, pouring into the bowl any grains that may remain in the sifter. Add the butter, then use your hands or a pastry knife to break the butter into pieces the size of grains of rice. The quicker you work, the more solid the butter will remain, which is important.
Whisk together the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl, then pour it into the flour mixture and stir until barely combined.
Liberally flour a work surface. Transfer the dough to the surface and dust the top of it and your hands with additional flour, folding the dough a few times so it is not sticky.
Divide the dough in half. Flour your hands and pat each piece into a disk 7 inches across and about 3/4-inch thick. Use the pastry scraper to loosen the disks from the work surface.
To assemble: Spread 1 disk of dough with the strawberry jam or marmalade. Place the remaining disk on top, pressing down gently so the dough settles into the jam. Brush the top of the second disk with the melted butter, then sprinkle it with the granulated sugar. Transfer the double-decker disk to the baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle position.
Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and cut the disk into 8 equal wedges, ideally with a bench scraper, and spread them a few inches apart on the pan. If you are using a silicone liner, take care not to slice into it, as that can damage the material. Bake (middle rack) for 22 to 26 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The scones are ready when their tops are golden brown and some of the jam or marmalade has bubbled over onto the baking sheet.
Use a metal spatula to transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool slightly (and to keep them from sticking to the sheet as they cool).
Adapted from "Good to the Grain," by Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2010).
Tested by Becky Krystal and Samuel Fromartz.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.