These cheddar scallion scones serve as my basic savory scone recipe and I’ve made dozens of different versions over the years. I’ve since come to believe that the scones turn out even better with just a little butter in the dough (duh) and so have updated the recipe below to include a small amount (2 tbsp) of butter. I still call these my “cheater” scones, as I don’t work the butter into the flour, just toss in small chunks and let them flavor and moisten the scone. Enjoy! ~February, 2013
The weather outside my window right now can best be described as “wintry mix:” gusty winds, occasional rain, sleet, freezing rain, maybe a few snow flurries, and even some hail. Ah, winter in the Northeast. Despite the nasty weather, however, signs of Spring have been creeping in: the snow that fell yesterday melted under today’s sun; it’s still (just barely) light out at 5:15 pm, and scallions, or spring onions, have appeared at the farmer’s market.
These scones are really quick & easy, in fact, I call them my “cheater” scones. The cheddar takes on butter’s role in this savory scone, meaning that you do not have to cut the butter into the flour, which, let’s face it, sometimes I’m just not in the mood for. In fact, there is no butter in this recipe at all, but one taste of these rich, creamy and mouth-wateringly good scones and You Won’t Believe There’s No Butter.
Sorry. Yes, I know. That was awful. <ahem>
Adapted from Cheddar-Chive Scones, Gourmet, July 2000
- 7 oz (about 1 and 1/2 cups) whole wheat pastry flour
- 7 oz (about 1 and 1/2 cups) whole white wheat flour, plus extra for adjustments
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground dried chile pepper (modify based on the heat of the chile and your preference)
- 3 medium scallions, white & green parts, very thinly sliced; reserve some sliced green parts for garnish
- 5 oz (scant 2 cups) cheddar cheese, coarsely grated, plus extra for topping
- 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into pea-sized chunks
- about 1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus extra for topping
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (400 degrees F convection).
- Whisk together flours, baking powder, salt and chile pepper. Add scallions, cheddar and butter and toss to combine (no need to work the butter into the dough). Add 1 cup buttermilk and turn with a wooden spatula; continue adding buttermilk and turning gently until a sticky dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and turn, kneading, 3 to 4 times with floured hands, just until the dough will hold together. Roll out to a rectangle approximately 1 inch thick, then slice into squares or cut with biscuit cutters (I used a 2-inch cutter here).
- Transfer scones to a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet. Brush each scone top lightly with buttermilk and sprinkle lightly with extra cheddar and scallion. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until cheddar is golden brown and scone tops are firm to the touch. Cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Yields about 2 dozen 2-inch round scones.
- This is my basic savory scone recipe: I alter the cheese (something medium-hard, not too soft & melty, works best), replace scallions with other alliums or fresh herbs, add sautéed greens or peppers, add crumbled bacon or sausage, or all of the above. The recipe is very forgiving. Check out “Scones, Muffins & Quickbreads” in the Recipe Index for other versions.
- Whole milk, heavy cream, yogurt or crème fraiche: all are good substitutes for buttermilk here.
- If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour, you can substitute regular white all-purpose flour.
About 2 days at room temperature, wrapped in a clean kitchen towel. Baked and unbaked scones also store well frozen for up to 6 months. Bake frozen unbaked scones without thawing: simply add another 3 – 5 minutes to the cooking time.
Scallions are typically available nearly year-round, but their primary season is Spring.