What I Do When I Can’t Sleep: Bake (Honey Wheat Scones)

Wedding planning has kept me tossing and turning a few nights this week. I promised myself I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. What is important to us is that our family and friends come together, have a good time, and that my family can experience what has become my second home. But I have broken my promise, and it has become a big deal. There are too many details to think about. Things that I had always considered trivial suddenly take importance. Invitations were originally to be evite only. Who needs flowers? Dress, take it or leave it. The food, however, has remained always important. Suddenly they gain importance.

So at 1am I awoke with the brilliant idea to do it all myself, and in the garden of our apartment. I jumped out of bed and did a quick google search of service providers (tables and cutlery, even decorations). I whipped out a few emailes to get prices and delivery options, and was annoyed at the lack of immediate responses. I hand drew a plan of white gauzy drapes lining our car port, candles, pastoral flower arrangements, a vine-covered terrace arching over the path next to our fountain. It was beautiful! Then the details got to me: will our neighbors allow it? What about waiters? What if it rains? And is our little bathroom big enough? What if we break cups? What if I don’t know how to hang a drape beautifully?? At this point it was 3am, and I was tossing this plan out the window, along with the potluck idea I had a few weeks before. I was irritated, nervous, and not the least bit tired. I was out of energy to plan more, yet I was irritated and wide awake. I couldn’t call anyone to ask specific questions or advice. So I decided to bake scones to take my mind off the whole thing. Baking always relaxes me.

Why scones? I don’t know. I’d never made them before and I have a problem with repeating recipes. Its not that my recipes don’t turn out well the first time — generally when I look back at what I have made, I think “I need to do that again!” But I feel compelled to explore. Try new and challenging things. Now scones aren’t that challenging. But what do you expect from a girl on 2 and a half hours of sleep?

I never got to sleep that night, but my coworkers had scones the next day. Amazingly enough I was never tired, either.

Honey Wheat Scones
adapted from: dishing up delights

1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 stick cold butter, cubed
1 c milk
1/4 c honey
1/2 c rolled oats

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon. Using a fork, work the butter into the flour until crumbly and well combined. Whisk together the milk and honey. Pour into flour mixture and stir til combined. Mix in the oats. Cut into shape you prefer. I just made a wheel, pictured. It took about 30 minutes to bake, but I didn’t pay close attention. It was about 4am anyway.

Optional Glaze: whisk together 2 T maple syrup, 2 T butter, and a dash of cinnamon if youd like. Spread over scones while they’re hot out of the oven. Sprinkle with sugar.


Whole Wheat Crackers

Its a great feeling making your own crackers. You know exactly what is in them, and you can customize them to your tastes and nutrition requirements. I like to use whole wheat flour in just about anything I use flour in. Sometimes I question what “whole wheat” means when it is advertised on packages, and I dislike not recognizing ingredients on the packages of my food. So I started making my own crackers. Simple, yet more delicious than any cracker I can remember. I believe it was because I made them and I knew they were good for me, and I could season them as I pleased.

I haven’t made these crackers in quite a while. They are a rather simple creation, but unless you have a large oven and lots of counter space it can take a bit of time. It’d compare it to making Christmas cookies. Rolling them out, cutting the shapes, decorating a bit if desired, and rotating trays in the oven every 12 or so minutes. Its simple, but you need to have the time and patience.

Crackers - DoughCrackers - Rolled with Seeds

Although they may take some time, if you have a free Saturday, or evening with your friends or family and feel like getting flour all over the place, I recommend giving it a try. Its not hard. If you’ve got it in you, make a lot and store them in an airtight container for later. They’re great for dipping and spreading all kinds of delicious things like hummus, cheeses, tapenades. These make me feel good about snacking.

Whole Wheat Crackers

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or what you prefer)
1/2 t salt
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup water
Optional toppings: sea salt, sesame seeds, black pepper, lime zest, rosemary, hot paprika, zaatar, grated cheese

Sift together the salt and flour. Whisk in the olive oil until absorbed. Add water and mix until all together. Turn out onto a clean, floured surface and kneed for a minute. Roll into a ball and cover with a clean dish towl and let the dough rest for a half an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Roll out the dough until thin as a Christmas cookie, or thiner if you prefer an extra crispy cracker.

Sprinkle with desired toppings and press them into the dough gently. Cut into desired shapes. Using a fork, dot dough with a few holes (to prevent bubbles from forming, if you mind that), and it also makes it look pretty. Transfer carefully to a baking sheet, and bake about 10-12 minutes until golden.