My love of scones dates back to childhood and my mother's fondness for them. And once I learned to make them, I turned out a batch every few weekends. But I admit it took me a while to go from making good scones to great ones.
Most of the scones I've produced have been sweet and either included fruit or chocolate chips. I like them a little extra sweet and with either a glaze or crunch of coarse sugar on top. But the other day I was trying to decide what to do with a block of smoked Gouda cheese, other than just eat it all standing right there by the fridge, and thought it was time to make a savory batch of scones.
The difference between good and great is less about the flavors, because I love all the flavors, and more about the method. It's a simple one bowl mixing process, as with muffins. But how you handle the dough greatly impacts the texture of the baked scones. Once you've tamed the big sticky mess into a reasonable dough, you need to give it a series of folds and turns to create flaky layers during baking. The result is a much lighter, fluffier, more biscuit-like scone that's well worth the bit of extra work. Enjoy!
Yield: 8 Servings
Smoked Gouda and Thyme Scones
Prep time: 20 MCook time: 20 MTotal time: 40 M
Recipe for savory scones flavored with smoked Gouda cheese and fresh thyme.
- 3 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 Stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Cup grated smoked Gouda cheese
- 1 1/2 Cups heavy cream, cold
- Add the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Grade in the butter using a large box grader. Alternately, you can cut the butter into 1/2" pieces and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter or fork. Mix the butter in until it's coated in the flour but the mixture is still coarse and lumpy.
- Add in the cold cream, thyme and cheese. Mix with a spoon as much as you can and then turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. It will be sticky. Work it together until you have a rectangular piece. Fold it in half, flatten out again, give it a quarter turn and fold over again. Repeat until you've made 4 folds.
- Roll it out to a circle that's 1" thick and cut into 8 pieces. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put in the freezer while you pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Brush the tops of the scones with a bit of extra cream and sprinkle on a little extra grated cheese, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
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