Cheese and garlic scones

by Tess Schulze


This recipe never fails to impress anytime I make it. Really, it’s hard to go wrong with fresh garlic and a heap of grated cheese in a bread product! You can also grate in any number of tasty, fresh produce to add an interesting twist. Grated courgette is a gorgeous addition to this savoury delight and an easy way to trick your loved ones into getting more veg into their diet!

I developed this recipe as a sort of fusion between an American buttermilk biscuit and a British scone. American biscuits are buttery and flaky; while British scones tend to be denser and almost cake-like in texture. Through a mix of methods and ingredients taken from both, the result is a savoury treat that is soft, slightly flaky, and incredibly more-ish. It is very hard to stop eating these, you have been warned!

Cheddar and Garlic Scones
This recipe makes 12-14 scones.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 9-12 minutes
Total time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:
120g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
400g plain/self-raising flour*
2 tablespoons baking powder*
1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper, optional
150ml buttermilk**
2 eggs
3-5 cloves garlic, crushed
250g grated cheddar cheese
150g grated veg, optional
Egg or milk (for brushing)
Topping:
50g butter, melted , 1 teaspoon parsley, ½ teaspoon garlic granules


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 210°C.
  2. Sift the flour,* baking powder,* bicarb soda, cayenne pepper (if using), and salt into a large bowl with the cold butter. Rub the flour and butter together with your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
    *If you are using self-raising flour, do not add the baking powder.
  3. In a measuring jug, whisk together the buttermilk** and the eggs until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until it starts to come together.
    **If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use any number of substitutes to get the desired result.
    The easiest replacement is soured milk, which can be made by adding lemon juice or distilled white vinegar to milk and allowing it sour (measure 150ml of milk, stir in 1 tablespoon lemon or vinegar. Leave for 5 min).
  4. Add the garlic, cheese, and grated veg (if using) and gently finish mixing the dough together with your hands. It should be a firm and sticky dough. Don’t worry if there are a few crumbs left behind, but make sure you mix in as much as you can. If you find that you need more moisture, add a tablespoon of buttermilk at a time until your dough comes together.
  5. Dust your hands and the dough with flour, turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll it out until it is about 2.5-3 cm thick. Using a cutter (any size will do, I usually use a 6.5 cm diameter cutter), cut out as many scones as you can, taking care to cut them as closely together as you can. Dust your cutter well with flour after every cut; make sure not to twist the cutter, rather allow the dough to come free in the cutter or leave it where it is and remove the surrounding dough once all scones have been cut. (Alternatively, you could just scoop the dough out of the bowl without any shaping and place it directly onto the baking sheet. The above direction makes for a nicer looking finished product. If you choose to scoop the dough out, you do not need to brush the tops with milk or egg in step 6).
  6. Ball up the remaining dough, being careful not to squish it together too much, you just want it to come together well enough so that you can roll it out again. Repeat the cutting process above. Continue recombining, rolling out, and cutting what is left of the dough until you run out (there will likely be a little bit leftover at the end; you can form this into a mini scone or bin it).
  7. Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet, about 4 cm apart, and brush the tops with milk or egg. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the tops and bottoms are a nice golden brown.While the scones are baking, make the topping. Melt the butter in the microwave on med-low and then stir in the parsley and garlic granules. Brush over the top of the scones as soon as they come out of the oven.
  8. I recommend removing them from the baking sheet immediately once they are out of the oven and placing them on a wire cooling rack with greaseproof paper beneath it before brushing with butter. This makes cleanup much easier! Allow the scones to cool for about 15 minutes and enjoy!

Notes:
This dough freezes well and can keep in a freezer safe bag or tupperware for up to 3 months. You can bake from frozen, or allow the dough to thaw slightly before baking. Very cold scone dough is always ideal to bake with!

The baked product will keep up to three days in a sealed, airtight container at room temperature.

If you want to add grated veg, approximately 100-150g should do the trick.

Published by manuelagrows

Community garden mentor at the Maxwell Centre

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