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Savory whole wheat sourdough scones sparkle with tastes and colors of the southwest

This chipotle and bell pepper whole wheat sourdough scone recipe is one of my favorite ways to use excess sourdough starter.

Not only does it take a whole cup of unfed starter, it makes a tender, moist, and exceptionally tasty whole wheat sourdough quick bread we like as much on days two and three as we like them hot from the oven. Take them along for an on-the-go breakfast or work-day snack.

The good news is, this recipe uses only five tablespoons of butter, instead of the usual half cup (eight tablespoons) most shortbread recipes require.

The chipotle powder gives these pastries just a bit of southwest flavor and heat, the perfect complement to the sweet bell peppers and onions that spark the scones with color, moisture, crunch and flavor.

For a more colorful scone, and when I have them on hand all at once, I use red, orange or yellow, and green bell peppers together, but on baking day, I settle for whatever we have on hand.

Chipotle & Bell Pepper Whole Wheat Sourdough Scones

Cheesy whole wheat sourdough scones with chipotle, bell peppers and onions

Cheesy whole wheat sourdough scones with chipotle, bell peppers and onions

  • Servings: 12
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Bake time: 15-18 minutes
  • Total time: 35-40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Oven temp: 450º Fahrenheit
  • Print


  • 1 C Organic whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 t Sea salt
  • 1/2 t Baking soda
  • 1-1/2 t Baking powder
  • 1/8 t Organic chipotle powder
  • 5 T Chilled organic unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2/3 C Chopped organic bell pepper (orange, red, yellow and green or any combination)
  • 1/3 C Chopped organic yellow or red onion
  • 1 C Whole wheat sourdough starter, unfed
  • 1 T Plain, live-culture, organic yogurt (can substitute whole milk)
  • 1/4 C Shredded organic sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Line a large baking pan, such as a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, with baker’s parchment or Silpat liner.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and chipotle powder.
  3. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in cubed butter until largest pieces are the size of a small pea.

    Cutting the butter into the flour mixture

    Cutting the butter into the flour mixture

  4. Cover and chill in refrigerator while you chop the peppers and onion.
  5. Stir the vegetables into the mixture and make a well in the center.
  6. Drop the starter into the well and gently fold into flour mixture until all the flour moistens, but barely, and mixture forms into a ball. The mixture will be fairly wet.
  7. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead ever so gently five or six times till smooth.
  8. Pat or roll, depending on how wet your dough is, into a round about 3/4 inch tall and cut with a 1-1/2″ floured biscuit cutter, or slice into 12 triangle-shaped wedges.

    The dough, patted into a flat round about 3/4" thick

    The dough, patted into a flat round about 3/4″ thick

  9. Place scones on baking pan about an inch apart and brush lightly with yogurt or milk.
  10. Sprinkle cheese liberally over tops.

    The scones, ready to pop into the oven

    A full baker’s dozen scones, ready to pop into the oven

  11. Bake at 450º F for 15-18 minutes until cheese melts and bubbles and scones are golden brown.
  12. Remove to wire rack and let rest 5 minutes, if you can stand it, then lift from pan and serve piping hot.

These are excellent the next day or so, toasted in a toaster oven for a few minutes.


TIP #1: You can also use a food processor to mix the dry ingredients and cut in the butter, but when I factor in the processor cleanup time, I find it is just as easy to do this manually.

TIP #2: A chilled silicone spatula makes quick, easy work of the folding and kneading job and helps to keep the butter solid, where kneading with warm hands can begin to melt it. Solid butter bits in the dough make for lighter, more flaky scones.

In case you’re wondering

You may be wondering why I specify organic ingredients. One of the main reasons is that we don’t know enough about the long-term effects genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may have on our health, and especially on the health of our children. I’d rather not put that stuff in my body, or feed it to anyone I love. Plus, peer-reviewed studies now show that organic foods may be better for our overall health after all.

Have a favorite recipe to use up excess starter?

Share it in the comments below, and if you’ve posted it on a blog, share the link too.

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