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This time Hanaâ picked savory scones for our Avid Bakers' June challenge. I wasn't too smitten by this idea: scones, okay, but salty ones? Not for nothing I put up the sign: "Life is Uncertain - Eat the Dessert First" in my old kitchen in Germany (sadly it didn't survive the move.)
When I read King Arthur's recipe I was, also, shocked by the amount of bacon that the recipe called for, half a pound! No wonder some reviewers complained about the scones' saltiness, and, though I love bacon (who doesn't?) I was sure they had a point.
|Crispy bacon - who can resist it?|
But I had a lot of chives in my garden, and, also, a good local cheddar cheese in my fridge, so I decided to give the savory scones a try. To be on the safe side (in case we didn't like them) I made only half the recipe.
The bacon shrank, of course, to more manageable proportions through the cooking, leaving much of its grease in the pan and on the kitchen paper towel. And I reduced the amount of salt in the dough by half, since there was also the salt in the cheese to consider.
|Three colorful add-ins: cheddar, bacon and chives|
This seemed a good opportunity to use some of my white whole wheat flour, so I exchanged 42 g of the AP flour to King Arthur's white whole wheat (about 17%).
Several reviewers reported problems with the crumbliness of the dough, so I added the whole amount of cream at once, and, using my favorite round bowl scraper, pushed and squeezed it, until the dough came together without falling apart again.
I find it easier to handle sticky dough on a lightly oiled, or slightly wet work surface, than on one that is sprinkled with flour. If you don't like your scones tough, you want to avoid getting more flour into the dough!
Instead of the recipe's large or miniature scones, I made medium sized ones.
|Whether in his twenties, or sixties - Richard is dead for the world when he plays guitar|
The kitchen already smelled good, when I cooked the bacon. But when the scones were baking, it started to smell so tantalizing, that even my husband, normally deaf for the world with his headphones and guitar, came down from the third floor to investigate.
The scones looked very appetizing, so we had one, soon as they were cooled down a bit. We looked at each other, bliss in our eyes - and had another one...
What a pity that I didn't make the whole batch!
|Fresh from the oven|
BACON-CHEDDAR-CHIVE SCONES (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
(8 large, 12 medium, or 16 mini scones)
200 g/7 oz all-purpose flour
42 g/1.5 oz white whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. salt, (down from 1/2 tsp.)
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
57 g/2 oz cold butter, cut in small pieces (1/2 stick)
114 g/4 oz cheddar, very coarsely grated or cubed (1 cup)
15 g/ 1/2 oz chives or scallion tops, snipped (1/3 cup)
226 g/ 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
200 g/7 oz heavy or whipping cream (more as needed)
more cream for brushing
Preheat the oven to 425°F/220ºC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
|Some larger pieces of butter should remain|
Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work butter into flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly, with some larger pieces remaining. (Using a food processor is more clean-up than useful, the amount of butter in the flour mixture is so small.)
|Mixing add-ins into flour mixture|
Mix in cheese, chives, and bacon until evenly distributed.
Add cream, stirring to combine. Using a bowl scraper or your hands, squeeze dough together; if it's not cohesive, add a little more cream until it comes together.
|I used a round bowl scraper to squeeze the dough together|
Turn out dough unto lightly oiled work surface. For large scones, pat into a 7"/18 cm disk about 3/4"/2 cm thick. For medium and mini scones, divide dough into 2 equal pieces, and pat into 6"/15 cm disks.
|For medium scones, cut dough disks into 6 wedges|
Using a bench knife, transfer disks to prepared baking sheet. For large scones, cut big disk into 8 wedges. For medium or mini scones, cut the 2 smaller rounds into 6 or 8 wedges each.
|Before they go in the oven, brush scones with cream|
Spread wedges a bit apart on the pan. (At this point you can also refrigerate them overnight, or freeze them.) Brush scones with cream.
Bake for 22 - 24 minutes (large scones), 20 - 22 minutes (medium) or 18 - 20 minutes (mini), until they are golden brown.
Cool scones on the pan. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
TO MAKE AHEAD:
To bake the next morning: Place shaped, but unglazed (!) scones with the baking sheet in a big plastic bag, and refrigerate them overnight (don't brush them with cream!) When you bake them cold, they will take a little longer.
To store them in the freezer: Put shaped, but unglazed (!) scones on the baking sheet in the freezer. When frozen, place them in a freezer bag.
If you are ready to bake them: Place frozen scones on baking sheet, brush them with cream, and bake in a preheated 425°F/220ºC oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until they are golden brown.