Best Savoury Cheese Scones
Think of English scones and your mind might give you an image of halved plain or raisin scones, still warm from the oven, generously slathered with butter and topped with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Although this is one of the most popular ways to prepare and enjoy scones, there are also some savoury varieties which you should try, with cheese scones being the most popular of these. We are making them with flour, butter, cheese, milk, salt, and baking powder. To add a little extra kick you could also add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the mixture, or even some mustard. Those are optional though.
Our recipe makes 6 scones but it is very easy to double if you want to make 12. This is certainly a recipe you will want to make more than once anyway. Historically, scones used to be flat and round, and about the size of a small dinner plate. They were made with unleavened oats and then cooked on a griddle. When baking powder became available, scones were oven-baked instead, and their size became smaller.
Scones, especially savoury ones, make a wonderful snack for those times you want a bite to eat but nothing too heavy, or when dinner is still a couple of hours away and you are already hungry. These portable snacks can even be buttered at home, then taken to work or school. Cheese works wonderfully as a scone flavouring. You could even get creative with these, adding bacon or onions perhaps, and maybe a pinch of dried thyme.
- 7¾ oz (225g) self-rising flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1¾ oz (55g) butter
- 3½ oz (100g) grated cheddar cheese, and more for topping
- 3 fl oz (90 ml) milk, and more for glazing
- Put a baking tray in the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Sift the flour with the salt, baking powder and cayenne if using, into a bowl.
- Sift once more to ensure everything is well mixed.
- Now cut the butter into cubes.
- Add it to the bowl.
- Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle the cheese into the mixture, rubbing it in until evenly distributed.
- Do not overmix, in case the warmth of your hands begins to melt the cheese.
- Now you can make a well in the middle of the mixture.
- Add enough milk to give a soft, firm dough.
- You might not need all the milk, so just add a bit at a time.
- Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out to ¾ inch (2cm) thick.
- Use a medium cutter to cut out 6 scones.
- Arrange them on the hot oven tray.
- Use a little milk to glaze the tops and sprinkle some cheese over them.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
- Serve warm or cold, halved and spread with butter.
These savoury cheese scones are well worth making because of their beautiful flavour. We like them halved and slathered with plenty of salted butter (and warm from the oven!) but they will keep a few days in an airtight container and can be taken to school or work cold as a snack. The fresh thyme garnish is a nice idea if you are serving these as part of a tea party or special occasion, but simply offer butter on the side and that is all you need to enjoy these to their fullest. Of course, as is the case with most English baked goods, a cup or pot of tea makes the perfect accompaniment.
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