Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones

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These scones were SO good after shoveling snow up to my knees outside, with flakes still falling everywhere.  I trudged back in, chilly and worn out, and baked these up.  They were delicious warm out of the oven, flaky but slightly gooey with the cheese.  I've only eaten sweet scones before, but this savory recipe has won me over.  Salty bacon, sharp cheddar, and fresh chives make the perfect wintry breakfast.

Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones by King Arthur Flour
8½ ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbs baking powder
2 tsp sugar
4 tbs (½ stick, 2 ounces) butter
1 cup (4 ounces) very coarsely grated or diced cheddar cheese
⅓ cup (about ½ ounce) snipped fresh chives, or finely diced scallion tops (the green part)
½ pound bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (about 1 cup)
¾ cup + 2 tbs (7 ounces) heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.  Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly.  Mix in the cheese, chives, and bacon till evenly distributed.

Add ¾ cup of the cream, stirring to combine. Try squeezing the dough together; if it’s crumbly and won’t hang together, or if there are crumbs remaining in the bottom of the bowl, add cream until the dough comes together. Transfer the shaggy dough to a well-floured work surface.

Pat the dough into a smooth 7" disk about ¾" thick. Transfer the disk to the prepared baking sheet.  Use a knife or bench knife to cut the disk into 8 wedges, spreading the wedges apart a bit on the pan.  Brush the scones with a bit of cream; this will help their crust brown.

Bake the scones for 22 to 24 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

•Want to make scones now, freeze and bake later? Make scones up to the point they're on the baking sheet, cut and ready to bake; don't brush them with cream. Freeze, then remove from the sheet, and wrap airtight in a plastic bag. When you're ready to bake, remove however many you want to bake from the freezer, place on a baking sheet, brush with cream, and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.

•Make mini-scones: Divide the dough in half, and roll each half into a 5" round. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven till golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes; or for about 25 minutes if frozen.

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I worked the butter in using a food processor, weighing the ingredients directly in the work bowl.  It made for faster work.

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Adding in the diced cheddar, bacon bits, and chives.

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Brushing with cream after patting into 2 rounds for mini scones, and cutting into wedges.

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You might have to cut them up again after they bake, using a knife or pizza wheel.

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