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.