Tag: scones

Recipe #14: Savoury Scones with bacon, leek and cheese

There is no question I’ve been doing a sh*! ton of baking in this house for the last two months. Thankfully I haven’t had a problem finding ingredients despite the run on household staples as we all went into State-ordered hibernation. I am still baffled by all the people who decided to take up baking (especially bread baking) when this pandemic forced all of us indoors. Why not knitting? Or drawing? Or guitar lessons?

Anyhow, I shouldn’t be poo pooing people’s ambitions to expand their culinary horizons. Baking is great. It’s cathartic and at the end of the activity, not only do you have a pile of dirty dishes to clean, but you also have something yummy and delicious to eat (hopefully).

One recipe that doesn’t require any yeast, is scones. My mom has been baking so many of these, I have this image of scores of scones tumbling out of her freezer as she opens the door. She calls all her baking “distractabaking.”

I found a great recipe for scones on the King Arthur Flour website and modified it with my own add-ins. I had some leeks that looked like they had only a few days left before being chucked so I saved them from a worse fate. I also had a chunk of Comte cheese that was growing a nice fuzzy green coat of mold, so I cut away all the mold and shredded what remained to add to the mixture. There was also some leftover cooked bacon and who doesn’t love bacon?

Scones originated in Ireland. There are so many variations (including how to pronounce the name–scON or scOHn?), I couldn’t possibly go into all the details. All I can tell you is that baking powder is the leavening agent used to make these rise. There are no eggs in this particular recipe, but some recipes do call for eggs.

You can switch up the add-ins to suit your own taste. I also like to make the kale parmesan version of these–a recipe that comes from Manresa Bread, which is a bakery in Campbell, California. Whatever you fancy–sweet or savoury–scones make a great snack or breakfast treat.

Bacon, Leek and Cheese Scones

  • 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated cheese of your choosing (the sharper the cheese, the more flavourful the scone IMO)
  • 1/3 cup diced and sauteed wilted leeks
  • 1 cup cooked bacon bits
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Combine all the dry ingredients together with a whisk.

Add the butter, cut into small chunks, and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter until it appears crumbly.

Add the cheese, leeks and bacon and combine thoroughly.

Pour the cream over the mixture and combine until the dough comes together and appears ragged.

Pour the mixture out onto a floured surface and squeeze together into a ball. Form the dough into a flat round about 3/4 of an inch high and approximately 7 inches wide. Transfer to a lined baking sheet.

With a regular knife or a bench knife, cut the disk into eight equal triangles. You can pull them apart a bit before baking, or you can do what I do and wait to completely cut them until they finish baking.

Brush the dough with a bit of cream before baking. This helps them brown nicely.

Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until they are browned on top.

Let them cool completely before serving. If there are leftovers (and that’s a big IF), place them in an air tight container in the fridge. They also freeze nicely. Pop them in the oven and reheat on low.

Mmm….bacon, leek and cheese scones!

Recipe #12: Kale Parmesan Scones

Remember when we were allowed to wander freely, casually stopping in at a local coffee shop for a hot drink, a bookstore to browse the new releases or a bakery to grab a yummy treat? Wait! That was just last week, right?

I used to indulge in two treats at Manresa Bread, usually on a Sunday when I was visiting the Campbell Farmers’ Market. I could justify the astronomical price for their wholewheat chocolate walnut cookie or their kale parm scone because I rarely indulge (I normally bake everything myself). Now that I won’t, ney CAN’T attend the farmers’ market, and also because I felt guilty dropping that kind of coin on a cookie or scone, I am baking these at home for ALL to enjoy. And now you can too! The recipe for these scones was originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle when they did a feature on Manresa’s head baker, Stephanie Prida.

The recipe calls for cake flour and cream. If you don’t have those ingredients, the recipe works just as well with all purpose flour and milk. It also calls for one bunch of lacinato kale. I don’t know what that is. And neither do you. But if you do, great! If you don’t, just use whatever kale you have access to. If you don’t have any kale, you can also substitute it with another green, like spinach or chard–just make sure you wring out any excess water from your leafy green or the scones will be soggy. Another substitution might be the leeks. If you don’t have any, try shallots or onions. Given the restrictions of our movements out in public these days, you might not be able to or want to run out to the supermarket to grab everything you need for these scones, so just improvise.

Kale Parmesan Scone Recipe from Manresa Bread

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 112 grams (~½ cup) sliced leek (the white part)
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, ribs removed, and coarsely chopped
  • 340 grams (2 ½ cups) cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups of cream or milk
  • Grated parmesan (~1/2 a cup)

Instructions

Sautee the leeks in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until they are soft, taking care not to let the leeks colour.

Remove from heat and put in a bowl to cool

Add the other Tbsp. of olive oil to the skillet and sautée the kale for about 3-4 minutes just until it begins to wilt

Remove from heat and put in a bowl to cool

Combine all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a standing mixer

Add the butter chunks and mix on low speed until the butter resembles pebbles

Add the kale and leeks, then the parmesan. Mix on low speed until just combined.

Add 1 cup of cream and mix on low just until the dough comes together. Add more cream if needed.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form into a ball.

Then shape into a rectangle about one inch thick.

Cut into 12 triangles.

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden on the top and bottom.

Dorin’s modifications:

I use milk instead of cream

There are no measurements for the parmesan so I put in about 1/2 a cup of loosely packed grated parmesan. It depends on how cheesy you like your scones

I have made these without the leeks when I haven’t had them

I have added raw kale to the dough and it still tasted great