Cheddar and Parsley Scones

If you like lovely light and fluffy savoury scones then these are definitely for you – easy to make, easy to eat. What’s not to like about that?

Makes: 12 – 15 (using a 65mm/2½” cutter)

Time: About 50 minutes.

Level: Easy

Equipment: 2 baking trays

Ingredients

  • 450g/1lb self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Optional “extras”: 1 tsp mustard powder, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp paprika
  • 100g/3.5oz butter, cubed
  • 30g/1oz – 50g/1.75oz parsley, chopped
  • 150g/5.5oz – 180g/6oz Cheddar, grated (reserve some for topping)
  • 240ml/9fl oz – 260ml/9.25fl oz milk or buttermilk* (or use soured cream for half the mixture)
  • ½ an egg, lightly beaten, to glaze (or just use milk)

* NB No buttermilk? You can replicate 125ml/4.5fl oz buttermilk by adding 15ml/0.5fl oz of lemon juice to 110ml/3.75fl oz normal milk. Just leave for five minutes then stir and use.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/425F/Gas 7. Grease and lightly flour the baking trays, or put a piece of baking paper on them and dust lightly with flour.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder salt and any “extras” into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Mix in the parsley and most of the cheese. Reserve the rest to top the scones, later.

4. Add the milk/buttermilk and/or soured cream and mix to make a soft dough. (NB Don’t pour it all in at once. Put most in and see how the mixture feels, then add more as necessary)

5. Turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead it briefly and lightly then roll it to a roundish, flat shape about 3cm thick.

6. Without twisting the cutter, press out as many scones as you can and place them well apart on the prepared baking trays. Gently fold together any leftover dough, keeping the “reworking” to a minimum, and press out more scones. (Dip the cutter into flour regularly.)

7. Brush some beaten egg over the top of each scone, trying to avoid it dribbling down the sides. Sprinkle a little of the reserved cheese onto each scone and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until turning golden.

8. Place scones on a wire rack to cool fully, or eat them soon, while still fairly hot – they’re so nice it’s probably worth the risk.

This recipe is very adaptable. Other cheeses work well, especially Red Leicester. Other herbs can be added. Or, if you want other scone recipes – sweet and savoury – have a look here.