Scones are amazing. When you need something that is quick, easy, filling and relatively inexpensive: scones come to the rescue. For those who find some cheese scones lacking in cheese, this recipe will give you the cheese. It is also open to variations (some are listed below).
The recipe has a mixture of butter and vegetable shortening (such as Trex). However, they can be made with all butter or all shortening if preferred.
Cayenne is there to complement the cheese, rather than compete with it. However, if a spicier scone is preferred then the amount can be amped up, or it can be omitted entirely.
The ingredients list just ‘cheese’ – I leave the type up to you! Personally, I opt for a mix of strong Cheddar, Red Leicester, and Parmesan (50 grams of each type). I love a strong Cheddar so invariably this forms the base (sometimes the entirety) of my cheese scones.
The dough is firmer than many scone recipes, so don’t panic if you’re used to a looser scone dough.
I err on the generous size for scones so for me the below yields about 6 scones when using a 7cm cutter and rolling the dough out to about 2cm thick.
Makes 6 (dependent on thickness of dough and size of cutter)
300 grams flour
25 grams butter, chilled
15 grams vegetable shortening (such as Trex), chilled
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne powder (optional)
150 grams cheese, grated – I use a mix of a strong Cheddar, Red Leicester, and Parmesan.
1 tablespoon of extra milk, for brushing on the tops of the scones before baking
- Preheat the oven to 180*C (160*C fan) or 350*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone paper.
- Rub the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. A pastry cutter can be used for this step, or go old-school and use your hands.
- Add the salt, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, and cayenne powder to the flour mixture and combine.
- Add the grated cheese and incorporate it into the flour.
- Add the milk and form the dough by incorporating it with the flour-cheese mixture. Lightly knead the dough for a few seconds (unlike bread, it requires very, very little kneading) and form it into a ball. If the dough is too sticky then add flour one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is obtained.
- Lightly flour the bench surface. Place the dough on the floured surface and lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll the dough with a rolling pin so that it is uniformly level and about 2cm thick. Cut out as many scones as you can. Place the scones on the prepared baking tray. Leave a gap of about 1/2 – 1 cm between scones on the tray.
- Reform the remaining dough into a ball and repeat the above step until there is not enough dough left to roll out and cut. This leftover dough can be formed into a ‘makeweight’ scone by rolling whatever dough is leftover into a ball, about the same thickness as the scones and add it to the baking sheet with the other scones.
- Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk and bake for 13 – 15 minutes. If the scones are shorter than 2cm, then they may require less time (maybe 10 – 12 minutes).
- Once cooked, remove the scones from the baking tray and place them on a cooling rack. These can be eaten straight-away, however they do improve if left for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
Cheese and Onion: sauté a small onion in oil or butter before starting the scones, so that it cools. Add it with the cheese.
Cheese and Bacon: chop up 2-3 rashers of bacon and fry until crisp before starting the scones, so that it cools. Add it with the cheese.
Cheese and Spring Onions (Scallions): Finely slice 3 or so spring onions and add them with the cheese.