Kombucha Scones – Scone Days of August

Mise en Place for Kombucha Scones

There are some things that go on in this kitchen that make me wonder sometimes – but I have a weak spot for fermentation projects, though I don’t make wine or beer. Blame the sourdough, it started it all off, things bubbling in jars here and there.  It has opened my eyes though to the role of bacteria and fungi in our foods and it’s always nice to learn new stuff and experiment a little.

On the worktop are some jars with summer kombucha brewing merrily away. We were given the kombucha culture by a friend a while ago and we have swapped its tea over from black to old white teas that needed using up. My particular favourite is a tea called white peony which indeed smells of peonies. You can use any tea you want I suspect. The Kombucha culture is apparently exactly the same culture that we used last year to make apple cider vinegar. What a small world!

If you are the creative home sewing type, you can always brew the kombucha in a bath tub,  save and dry the culture which turns into a leather like material and cut and sew it into a completely home grown outfit.

If you need convincing check out this great TED talk from Suzanna Lee on the subject of Growing your Own Clothes.

Looking at the jars with their cultures floating on the top, one could be forgiven for saying, “No! Surely not. That should just be chucked down the loo.” Well, it makes a lovely naturally fermented drink that hasn’t killed either of us, nor given us upset tummies and hey what else can I say;  we like it.

So my first new batch of scones for the Scone Days of August (aka Scone Week, Scone Fortnight, losing the plot here slightly)  were a batch made using Celia’s Lemonade Scone recipe but using Kombucha and a little soda water to replace the Lemonade. For those of you who don’t know it, it is an incredibly simple mix of double cream, fizzy drink and selfraising flour.

My Trial Version has :

  • 450 g self raising flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • ¾ of a tub of 300 ml size double cream
  • 200 ml white tea Kombucha
  • 50 ml of soda water
  • Small handful of raisins soaked in Kombucha for an hour and then drained and patted dry

I mixed everything bar the raisins lightly together, more brought together than mixed, sprinkled the raisins on top and folded them in. Then I tipped out the sticky mix onto a floured board, patted down into an even layer, cut four round scones, repatted dough together, cut the second layer into four. This made eight rather large scones, which Brian brushed overenthusiastically with milk.

Baked in a pre-heated oven at 200º C Conventional Oven for around 25 minutes until they went golden on the top and the Scone Expert pronounced them done.

Here are the results: They didn’t rise as high as the scones I usually make, but they were deliciously soft and very very unsweet. Now if you like your scones sweet then don’t go down this route. On the other hand, if you like bread and cakes with a very soft mouth feel, then experiment with fizzy drinks that you like the taste of and see what you come up with. I was thinking it might work well with elderflower fizz or something like that too.

They have all been eaten so I guess that is a good sign. Hopefully there will be some more, slightly less esoteric ones coming up soon.    If you are still dithering and looking for a reliable scone recipe –  and want a classical English style afternoon tea scone I recommend that you try a variation on the Rachel Allen recipe, published here on the net which are the ones I usually make. They rise high and look very traditional, pics here on my first scone week post a couple of years ago.

Brian reckons this variation with the ricotta are the best I have ever made, though he is always game to try something new. Heidi has made some wonderful scutterbotch scones here and when I tasted my very low sugar ones above I couldn’t help but think I ought to try hers next…

31 thoughts on “Kombucha Scones – Scone Days of August

  1. hotlyspiced

    Your scones do look very good. I’m hoping to participate in ‘Scone Week’ at some stage. I love scones with dried fruit – it just adds that little element of surprise xx

  2. sallybr

    Live and learn… I had heard of kombucha but didn’t quite know what it was. Now I do… You are one brave woman!


    next year, count me in for the scone days of August!

  3. heidiannie

    You are so brave and adventurous in your baking, Joanna!
    I’ve tried the Kombucha tea, but wouldn’t have thought about using it in conjunction with scones! ( Something about it kind of repulses me- it looks like it may grow up and overpower all residents of the house in the dead of night…) Anyway- I will probably NOT be trying to make this version of the Lemonade scones- but I do have some diet ginger ale and some ginger bits that I’m going to try I think.
    But first- I have at least 4 different recipe for cream scones (traditional, they all say) that I’m making today!
    I love scone fortnight!

    1. Joanna Post author

      It doesn’t grow very fast at all, and seems to devote itself to eating sugar and blowing bubbles. Ginger scones sound scrumptious :)

  4. Abby

    I’ve been curious about kombucha for a while…am totally intrigued by your experiences. I’m still hoping to get some scones baked in the next couple of days…..

    1. Joanna Post author

      We drink most of it chilled from the fridge. The longer you leave it to ferment, the less sweet it is, as the sugar is all consumed, something like sourdough. I am not sure it added anything particularly special to the scones, our palates aren!t that good but scones are so quick to make. I just thought it would be fun to try:)

  5. drfugawe

    I too am fascinated by anything fermented – especially those things which are then consumed without cooking, which of course kills all those wonderful bacteria – but Kombucha scares me – as a diabetic, all that sugar is simply terrifying – I think I’ll just continue to ferment my vegetables in my pseudo kim chi style and build my healthy internal bacterial family that way.

    1. Joanna Post author

      We drink it uncooked, so it is live at that point. I use about 100g sugar to a litre of tea and by the time it is ready to drink it really isn’t sweet, and has quite an acidic taste, though I am sure some drink it sweeter thsn us. I don’t know if we will keep it through the winter though, but it has been fun this summer:)

  6. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    I honestly thought you were taking the piss when you said the kombucha could be made into clothing! :) Lovely scones, darling, and what an unusual twist! I’ve tried making the lemonade scone recipe with leftover champagne before, and it worked really well! xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Glad you enjoyed the post, would I take the Michael? Though you are the only person to refer to the potential craft side of kombucha so far. I am very fond of TED and have enjoyed many of their productions :)

  7. Choclette

    Brilliant post Joanna, really enjoyed reading this and it made me laugh. It was of course the kombucha that caught my eye. I would never have thought to make scones using it, but then I would not have thought of using lemonade either.

    Our best batches of kombucha – when we used to make it – were quite fizzy, so there would be no need to add additional fizz. We didn’t get that as often as we’d have liked though. If memory serves me correctly we used to use half black and half green tea.

    And I don’t really see why scones need to be sweet – not if you’re going to put jam on them anyway.

    1. Joanna Post author

      We have had some very fizzy batches, but on the day I made these I re-read Celia’s post which talked about how important the bubbles are so I thought I’d add a little soda, it was an experiment after all :)

      B likes scones and pastry too with little or no sugar and I do too, sweetness coming from jam or fruit just like you x

      1. Misky

        Don’t bother making them with sugar-free fizzy drinks. They’re okay but nothing special. Can’t taste the Fanta either, so it’s the fizz that’s needed rather than the flavour. Live and learn. Actually, I think that should be ‘Live and grow old…”

        1. Joanna Post author

          Hello Misky, I am a bit confused now. Are you saying that it only works for you with sugar based lemonade? Why would that be? Or that you need the combination of citric acid and sugar to give the taste? I always thought that it was the baking powders in the self raising flour that gives the main lift to the scones anyway. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baking_powder

          The kombucha scones don’t taste particularly of tea, they just taste of scone. I haven’t made the lemonade ones because I don’t buy fizzy drinks.

          1. Misky

            Sort of. What I’m saying is that we could both detect an aftertaste of artificial sweetener, whereas the sugar-based lemonade didn’t have that. Also they were slightly drier in texture – made precisely the same way, just different fizzy drink for liquid. Celia’s recipe used self-rising flour, although the ingredients of baking powder are in there. I’ll stick with the normal 7-Up in the future.

  8. cityhippyfarmgirl

    I still haven’t dibble dabbled with kombucha, I do like the taste though and love me a little fermentation. Starter and a ginger beer mother are currently bubbling on the bench top tonight… that and some scone crumbs from this mornings batch.
    Hurray! for bacteria and scones :-)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I wonder how similar the ginger beer mother is and whether you could simply take a piece and feed it sweet tea instead? Sounds like your kitchen is pretty crowded already Xx Joanna

      1. Choclette

        I’ve consulted CT on this one and he says they are different micro organisms, so do different things. Would be interesting to try though.

        1. Joanna Post author

          I thought they probably were, thanks to CT for his advice. It is the same as the one in the apple cider vinegar though isn’t it, I am sure he told me that on Twitter xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      The TED talk is great fun, isn’t it? I have a lovely book called Wild Fermentation which is a great resource if you want to delve into fermemtation projects :)

  9. Marina@Picnic at Marina

    Hello Joanna, I came here from Nami’s blog The Complete Cookbook and first thing I see is kombucha. You got me there: I am all sentimental about fermentation. I even have a fermenting corner in my kitchen, where constantly something is fermenting. At this time it’s kombucha, pickles, kefir, watermelon rind. I am signing up for your blog!
    Scones look very good to me, and the fact that it’s not too sweet makes it a winner! It also helps to have all in metric measurements.
    Wow, I am so happy I popped here from another blog! :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Marina, i am delighted to meet you, can I also suggest you pop by Docfugawe who is really into making pickles, he left a comment above. I am hoping one day to try kefir but haven’t come across anyone locally with grains so far. Watermelon rind sounds exciting, is that a kind of pickle too? I am popping over to visit you now :)

  10. Misky

    Lost the reply link, so I’ll just continue here. Google search shows between 40-45g sugar in 250ml 7Up. The recipe makes about 10 scones. I go with ‘in moderation’ and ‘only once in a while’ … I reckon the cream causes more of a spike than the sugar to be honest.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Misky, I tried to look it up but there are different sorts of 7 up and I didn’t know what sort you used. I reckon then that the Rachel Allen scones are far better both in termns of sugar (25g per 500 g flour) and maybe fat 125g butter plus buttermilk (dom’t know off hand what the content of that is) too. I think I will stick to those for plain scones, all good fun !

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