Top | Supper for a Song

Whole-Wheat Date Scones

(recipe, Tamasin Day-Lewis)

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These are slightly heavier than plain scones, but sweet and nutty at the same time, and are great spread warm with butter for a proper breakfast. My neighbor Patricia brought around a little basket of them wrapped in a gingham napkin the morning the Oscars were announced in March 2008. I had been up since dawn watching the news of my brother Daniel's triumph as Best Actor in his role in '"There All it needed was some Champagne and (blood!) orange juice and coffee to accompany the fruity scones.


  1. ⅞ cup (scant) all-purpose flour
  2. ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  3. 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  4. 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  5. ½ tsp. coarse salt
  6. 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  7. ⅔ cup roughly chopped pitted Medjool or other dates
  8. ⅝ cup whole milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Sift the flours into a large bowl and tip in any bran left in the sieve at the end. Add the butter cubes and rub together with your fingertips as quickly as possible until you have a breadcrumb consistency.
  2. Stir in the baking powder, salt, and sugar, then throw in the dates. Make a well in the center and add the milk, mixing all together with a spatula to a soft dough.
  3. Working quickly, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and very gently roll it to a 1-inch thickness. Stamp out rounds with a 2-inch cookie cutter or the rim of an overturned small tumbler, and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until well risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. These scones are best eaten warm with good salted or unsalted butter, according to your taste and mood.