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Cheese Scones

Cheese Scones

My mother used to make a variation of these by the 100's for our church fair back in England. You can vary the size depending on how you are using them. Cut the scones into 8 wedges and then cut these wedges in half to give you 16 smaller scones. The smaller size is ideal for a party in a basket or as part of a dinner party. Use either Swiss cheese (really known as Emmentaler or Gruyère) or a strong cheddar in the scones. Mild or 'lite' cheddar have so little flavor you are only adding calories to the scone and no real cheese taste. In fact, a little of a strong cheddar in anything will give you more flavor than a lot of mild or lite cheddar.

Ingredients

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp dry English mustard - known as Colman's, in a mustard yellow can.
  • ½ stick (2oz) butter
  • ½ c (2oz) shredded strong Cheddar or Swiss
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2/3 - 1 c (or more) half and half or cream
  • pinch of salt
  • (2 tbsp. flour)
  • About ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • little milk

Method

1. Sift/stir flour, baking powder, mustard, salt and cayenne together in an 8c mixing bowl that is preferably wide and shallow.

2. Add butter. Rub butter into flour using your fingertips until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can put flour mix in processor, add cold, hard butter and run until breadcrumb mix is formed. Remove chopping blade and replace with shredding blade. Shred cheese (if bought in one piece) onto flour/butter mix and then empty mix into mixing bowl and continue with recipe. Don't try making dough in food processor.

3. If made by hand, stir in cheese, then add all but 1-2 tbsps. of the cream with the egg. Stir with a knife to form a SOFT dough not a dry pie crust. Add remaining liquid if mix is too dry, or add the 2 tbsp. flour if mix is too wet. Knead the dough 3-4 times very softly to bring together.

4. Put ball of dough on lightly floured board and gently pat this quantity out to a 7-8" circle. Do not try to make a bigger circle. It is important to keep dough this thick to ensure scones will rise high enough.

5. Cut dough into 6 or 8 wedges. Pieces of cheese make it difficult to cut with a cutter, so just use a knife.

6. Brush tops of dough with milk and dip top of each scone into Parmesan cheese placed in a cereal bowl. This way you don't get cheese all over baking sheet. Place separate pieces about 1" apart on a lightly floured baking sheet.

7. Bake in 425* oven for about 20-24 minutes until scones are well risen, light golden brown and sound hollow underneath when tapped on the base. Parmesan cheese on top will have cooked to a lovely golden brown like the top of a good pizza. When split open, scones should look fluffy and light, not dense and compressed. Adjust time according to your oven, size of scone and type of baking sheet. Black or dark baking sheets will cook base quicker and can overcook. I tend to use my stoneware pizza stone.

Notes

1. Do be gentle with the dough, you are making edible dough not play dough, so handle the dough as little as possible.

2. Don't pat or roll out bigger than directed, you'll end up with shoe leather and that's a waste of your time and money.

3. These scones are also good split the next morning and broiled for breakfast, or nuked. They keep a few days in a Ziploc bag.

4. Sprinkle parmesan cheese topping with Italian herbs, poppy seeds, sesame seeds before baking if you want.



PLEASE NOTE THAT SUBSTITUTIONS AND DIFFERENT METHODS WILL AFFECT FINAL TASTE.
© 2000-2006 Royal Temptations


Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV and on Manchester TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.
 
For more FREE recipes visit: http://www.RoyalTemptations.com