The Savory Scone Spree

For the past month I’ve been on a bit of a mission. You could even call it a spree. I’ve been experimenting with different ideas for savory scones.

(Note: in the States we’d call them biscuits, but using the word biscuits in the UK confuses people because for them a biscuit is either a sweet thing equivalent to an American cookie, or a savory thing equivalent to an American cracker. In the interests of trans-Atlantic clarity I’m going to use the word scones even though my toddler and I call them biscuits).

It all began simply enough. I wanted to keep making savory snacks for us and I had a hunch that my toddler would like using cookie cutters to cut out the scones. She loved it, and so the first week we made 4 batches of scones.

Since then we’ve eased off a bit to two batches a week, as her enthusiasm for eating them hasn’t kept up with her enthusiasm for making them (although mine has). And we’ve gone through over half a dozen combinations – from rye & caraway seed to apple & ricotta to Parmesan cheese & oregano. I’ve stuck to additions that require little or no extra prep, but there are so many great ways to make savory scones; this is just the tip of the iceberg.

I think the rye & caraway seed ones were my favorites. They were salty, with just enough rye to taste it, and the lovely fragrant caraway seeds to compliment the rye. They were gorgeous fresh from the oven and amazing with egg salad (egg mayo in the UK).

Friday morning we made the cornmeal biscuits in these photos. They may seem a bit gritty if you’re not familiar with corn bread but that’s part of the charm. The slightly sweet corn taste is what makes these so lovely. It was a great breakfast for the crisp, cold but sunny day.

Rye & Caraway Seed Savory Scones
adapted from the Fluffy Biscuit recipe in the 1931 Joy of Cooking

1 & 3/4 C all purpose flour
1/4 C rye flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 oz. unsalted butter (= 2 Tbs)
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 C milk

Rule:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, & caraway seeds. Add butter to the mixture and rub into small pieces with your hands, or cut in with knives. In a separate bowl, pour in the milk and then add the olive oil in a slow stream whilst whisking. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix. Finish mixing with your hands until all the flour is combined (add more oil if it’s too dry).

Pat until about 1/2 inch thick and cut using cookie cutters or a glass. Gather the scraps, kneed together, pat, and cut out more scones until you’ve used all the dough.

Bake at 220C/425F for about 8 minutes (or longer depending on the size and shape) until just golden brown.

Cornmeal Savory Scones
adapted from the Fluffy Biscuit recipe in the 1931 Joy of Cooking

1 C all purpose flour
1 C cornmeal or polenta
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 oz. unsalted butter (= 2 Tbs)
1/4 C cream (or milk)
1/2 C milk

Rule:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, & salt. Add butter to the mixture and rub into small pieces with your hands, or cut in with knives. Pour the cream & milk into the dry ingredients and mix. Finish mixing with your hands until all the flour is combined (add more milk if it’s too dry).

Pat until about 1/2 inch thick and cut using cookie cutters or a glass. Gather the scraps, kneed together, pat, and cut out more scones until you’ve used all the dough.

Bake at 220C/425F for about 8 minutes (or longer depending on the size and shape) until a bit golden brown. These won’t brown as much as all flour ones and they didn’t rise much either.

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3 thoughts on “The Savory Scone Spree

  1. Pingback: Going Off Piste: Crackers « Baking Unadorned

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