So Saturday morning I got up early and made some freshly baked scones for breakfast. I divided the dough in half to make two different types – normal fruit scones and a raspberry and white chocolate one.
I’ve made scones countless of times and they have never failed me…until now.
This was a bad morning – my dough mix was too wet, the cream of tartar that I used was out of date, and so my scones didn’t rise the way I wanted them to. I mean these scones are still edible but I just couldn’t face what I have created. I had to redeem myself for the sake of a good scone bake (not being dramatic!).
Scone bake – take 2.
Because the first bake was good enough to eat I didn’t want to make more of the same kind. For the next batch I went for a savoury bake with cheese scones. We started growing herbs in our garden as well so this was a perfect opportunity to use some of the rosemary from outside.
These are great served warm with a bowl of soup. You can jazz it up by eating it with some sweet tangy chutney or eat on its own, either way these won’t fail to impress.
This recipe makes about 12 scones (depending on the size of your cutter – cut out some massive ones if you really want to).
- 500g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp cream of tartar (make sure it’s still in date!)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- sprinkle of black pepper
- 125g chilled unsalted butter
- 25g caster sugar
- 2-3 handfuls of cheese (I used cheddar but you can use other types like Red Leicester or whatever else you fancy)
- sprinkle of chopped rosemary
- 1 beaten egg
- 275ml buttermilk or milk
- Pre-heat oven to 220°C fan.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, salt, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Dice up the chilled butter and rub into the flour mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the sugar and mix well. Then add the cheese and rosemary and mix well again.
- In a measuring jug combine 2/3 of the egg with the milk or buttermilk.
- Slowly pour this into the flour. Start by pouring a small amount into the centre of the bowl and mix in the flour with your hands. Then keep pouring a bit more and continue to mix with your hands until a dough starts to form. If you use up your buttermilk/milk mix and there’s still flour left to incorporate into the dough, add a bit more milk. Try not to pour too much in one go as you don’t want the mixture to be too wet.
- Once all the flour is incorporated into the dough, place it on a lightly floured surface so that the outside is coated in flour to stop it from sticking to the worktop. Shape the dough into a roundish ball.
- Using your hand pat down the dough to about 2cm thick and cut out circles using a cutter.
- Add a little bit of milk to the remainder of the beaten egg and use to brush over the top of the scones, make sure you only brush the top and not the sides (if you brush the sides the scones wouldn’t rise properly).
- If you want to be fancy you can sprinkle some rock salt and add a few rosemary leaves on top.
- Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
- When you take the scones out of the oven carefully turn one over and tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow then your scones are ready. If not put it back in the oven and bake for a few more minutes.
- Transfer the scones to a cooling rack and let it cool down a bit before you go diving in!
So there they are my beautifully well-risen scones. I have to say I felt a lot better after making these. I had to prove to myself that I haven’t lost the touch of baking scones. I just need to make sure I don’t use out of date baking ingredients – ever!