If there is one bake that I love, it is cheese scones, especially if they come fresh from the oven and I get to eat them once they are cool. All I need is lots of butter and a cup of tea, heaven.
Scones are so much easier to make than many think. All you need is a light hand, refrain from kneading and keep all the ingredients as cool as possible. Simple. You can catch up on other tips here.
I love the spreading of a little mustard on these baked scones then as they cool and the cheese starts to firm up it creates a lovely mustardy crust to the top. Use regular English mustard but if you can, try them with Wasabi Mustard, hot and super tasty.
Makes 6 large scones
- 225g (2 1/2 cups) self-raising flour (plus extra to dust)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 55g (4 tablespoons) cold butter (cubed)
- 110g (1 cup) mature cheddar, finely grated
- 25g (½ cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 50 ml (4 tablespoons) milk
- 1 large free-range egg
- I tablespoon Wasabi or English mustard (optional)
- Heat the oven 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 with a non-stick baking sheet on the centre shelf.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt, into a food processor. Add the cold butter and pulse briefly until the mixture resembles sand. You can also do this by hand; place the ingredients as above into a large baking bowl, add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips, again, until it resembles sand.
- Tip the mixture from the food processor into a large baking bowl. Add the cheese and mix carefully with a dinner knife.
- Mix the milk with the egg and beat well. Keep back 2 teaspoons. Pour the remaining egg/milk mix into the bowl. Using a dinner knife mix everything together quickly and evenly with a cutting-like motion. If the mixture feels dry add a little more milk, a drop at a time.
- Using your hands, carefully bring the mixture together into a ball of soft dough pressing firmly but not squashing it.
- Lightly flour a work surface or board and gently press the scone mixture into an even 2.5cm thickness with the heel of your hand. Above all, resist kneading the dough, you have the right thickness when you can comfortably cut 4 x 5 ½ cm scones.
- Using a straight-edged cutter, press out 4 scones. Never twist the cutter (this causes the scones to fall over when rising). Put to one side.
- Carefully press the remnants together and repeat the pressing and cutting. You should manage to get another 2 scones from the mixture.
- Paint the tops of the scones with the remaining egg wash then sprinkle with Parmesan. Place onto the hot baking sheet and bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes. Or, if you want a mustard top, cook for 8 minutes, then brush the surface with the mustard and cook 2 minutes longer. Using a pastry brush sweep over the surface of each scone with the mustard and cook for 3 minutes more.
- Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack.
They will be extremely delicious when eaten the same day. If you can resist, are still good the next if you store them in an airtight box.
Alternative Flavours for Cheese Scones.
Switch out the types of cheese you use for your scones, blue cheese is delicious. Always use a little freshly grated Parmesan on top though as this creates a little crust which is rather tasty.