Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Savory Scones - Bacon Onion and Cheddar

Not all scones have to be sweet, as there are sweet and savory biscuits and breads, so are there scones. I've been on a biscuit and scone kick lately. I think it's because they used to baffle me, I had real trouble producing anything other than a rock hard lump of clay at the end of my efforts.

I discovered my unfortunate hot hand problem and fixed it with a butter knife or pastry blender. I discovered the proper ratio of flour to fat and started baking at a much higher temperature and since that point, I seem to have found a rather substantial improvement and success rate with my baking.

I'm venturing into true recipe creation and experimentation now that the basics no longer elude me. I baked like a mad woman yesterday and then delivered all my wares to those who would take them from me (to stop me from sitting in the middle of the living room floor with the entire batch and a pound of butter - all in the name of science and research you understand - so to my guinea pigs I say thank you!).

Everything I made yesterday was sweet which, for those seeking balance in the universe, means that today we are savory. One of my favorite breakfast foods, oddly enough, is bacon and onion pie. It occurred to me I could certainly take my favorite breakfast flavors and morph them into a scone. I'll save you the worry or having to jump ahead to the end; I have achieved success and as a result, here we are:


Put 6 slices of bacon in the oven, on a rack, at 425 degrees and bake for 15 minutes - remove from the oven, eat one slice and chop up the other 5, allow them to cool (which only really takes a few minutes).

Grate 1 cup of cheddar and chop up 2 large scallions (only the pale green and green parts) and pop them into a bowl, toss them in the fridge and let them wait. Toss them together with a little flour so they don't clump up.

In a bowl, combine:

2 cups a/p flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
a couple of grinds of black pepper (optional but I like the bite the black pepper adds)

Chop up and add 1/2 stick of cold butter, cut it in until it looks like sand.

Add the cooled, chopped up bacon and the cheese and onions and mix up with your fingers

Make a well in the center and add up to 3/4 cup half and half (I dump most of it in but always keep a couple of tablespoons back just in case the flour doesn't need it; you can always add, it's a pain to try to take it away). Mix with a knife until just combined, turn it out onto a floured board and flatten it into a 8 inch circle, it should be just shy of 1" thick. I pat it out with my hands and then transfer the whole thing to a sheetpan or again I'm using my trusty comal.

Cut the dough into 8 wedges and brush with cream, or milk, or egg, I used cream today because I had some. I sprinkled a little salt on the top of one of them as a test and I really liked the little added crunch it gave along with a salty note without overpowering the scone at all. You could also grate pepper on top if you wanted a spicer flavor. I might add some dry mustard next time to see what that does.

Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. Remove them straight to a rack to cool, eat and be happy!

They are savory, spicy, bacony, cheesy, oniony, crumbly and moist. They taste like a pie in your hand and that can never be a bad thing. I'm so happy with them that I am looking through my phone book as I type this to see who I can take them to - good food is only good when it can be shared!


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