Friday, January 11, 2013

Cheddar Dill Scones

So this is an old recipe from several years back that I make every so often and realized that we hadn't yet shared.  I know scones aren't on everybody's list of "Stuff To Eat Whenever Possible" but these scones will be!  I have had some scones in my day that were awfully bland and much more akin to the offspring that would be produced by a hockey puck mating with a biscuit.  This is not okay.  Scones should be light, flaky, buttery, and generally awesome.  So I set out to make a good one and after tweaking a couple recipes to get the desired result, I have come up with this.

I like dill and cheddar but you could substitute any cheese and herb combo that you may desire.  Fennel and Havarti or Gruyere and basil or whatever you like.  Or leave out the cheese and herbs and toss in some fruit like blueberries or raspberries.

Since scones make me think of stuffy old British folk taking tea and how awfully boring that must be, I decided to rock out with someone Brits who may take their scones with some whiskey and a side of mayhem and blasted some Siouxsie & The Banshees.  I definitely like their earlier stuff so I went with a classic of theirs from 1977 "Bad Shape".  - justin

Time: 35 min
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: As large or small as you want to make them but about 15
  • 4 cups + 1/4 cup (to flour a rolling surface) of flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 lb cold, unsalted butter, diced into cubes (the butter must be refrigerated until final mixing or the scones will be small and dense)
  • 4 extra large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1/2 lb extra sharp yellow cheddar, grated
  • 1 cup fresh dill, minced fine
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water or milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dice butter into cubes and put back in fridge for later use.  Add the 4 cups flour, the baking powder, and the salt to a large bowl and mix.  Take the butter cubes out of the fridge and add them to the flour mixture all at once and incorporate them with either a stand mixer or hand mixer/egg beaters until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.  Add the grated cheese and chopped dill and incorporate quickly.  Combine the eggs and heavy cream in a small bowl and mix them into the butter and flour mixture until it just holds together.  Do not over mix!  The scones will turn out like a hockey puck mated with a biscuit!  Again: Do not over mix!  Less is better!  If you aren't sure if you are over mixing, you are probably over mixing! 

Pour the dough out onto a surface dusted with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and roll out into a rectangle 1 inch thick.  Cut into 4 inch squares and then in half diagonally to form triangles.  Mix the 1 egg and water/milk to make an egg wash and brush it on top of the scones.  Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick spray for 20 to 25 minutes or until the outside is a nice crusty brown and the inside is fully cooked.  Guess you'll just have to try one to see if they are!

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