Yogurt Cheese Scones with Lemon & Thyme

The latest entry in my scone obsession, these are a savory, tangy mini scone that I made to bring to dinner tonight at our friends Amy and Bob’s house. These are an appetizer scone, great nibbled with fresh slices of apple or a nice chutney. How lemony they taste depends on the depth of flavor in your cheese; a strong cheese will allow just a hint of citrusy freshness to come though, while with a milder cheese you will really taste the lemon. For this batch, I used Mimolette, a French cheese that we get at Plum Plums. It tastes a little like cheddar but with a distinctly apricot flavor; one of Tai’s favorites, it is quite delicious, and strikingly pretty on a cheese tray (most people think it is cantaloupe until they look closely). Whatever cheese you use, these scones are yummy. They are scones, after all.

Adapted from Whole Wheat Scones in Great Breads by Martha Rose Shulman

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Yogurt Cheese Scones with Lemon & Thyme

INGREDIENTS

  • 9 oz (2 cups) whole wheat pastry flour (or AP flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 oz (1 and 1/2 cups packed) grated medium-hard cheese, such as sharp cheddar or Mimolette
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used whole milk yogurt), plus extra for glazing
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp packed lemon zest (from half a medium organic lemon)

METHODS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (375 degrees F convection).
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk in thyme and black pepper; whisk until thoroughly mixed.  Whisk in grated cheese.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Add all at once to flour mixture; fold in, mixing just enough to form a soft dough (avoid overmixing). Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead just until the dough holds together, about 4 times.
  4. Form into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle and cut out mini-scones with a 1 and 1/2-inch round cutter (or a shot glass or clean spice jar would work). Re-shape the scraps, handling the dough as little as possible, until you have formed all of the scones.  Arrange evenly on three Silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheets (16, 16 and 8 to a sheet, in order to ensure even baking of the middle scones). Brush the tops of each scone with a little yogurt (or milk, cream, buttermilk) and sprinkle a little cheese and just a touch of pepper or thyme on each. Bake in the pre-heated oven until nicely browned on top and slightly firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer to racks to cool.  Serve and enjoy.

Yields 40 mini-scones (1 and 1/2-inch diameter) or 12 medium scones.

OPTIONS

  1. To make regular-sized scones, pat dough into a 1-inch high round and slice into 12 wedges with a sharp knife or dough-cutter. Add about 5 minutes to the baking time.
  2. The original recipe called for 6 tbsp (3 oz) of butter, cut into the dough; I substituted the cheese. The softer the cheese, the more moist the scone will be. If using a quite dry cheese, like a Parmesan, add an ounce or two of melted butter so the scones will not be too dry.
  3. Low-fat yogurt would work well here also, but the scones will be drier; if using a low-fat yogurt, definitely add butter or a softer cheese.
  4. This scone dough is wetter than most; makes it stickier, and more difficult to work with, but results in a fluffy, airy scone, despite the cheese, and allows you to roll and shape the scraps of dough a few times without sacrificing texture. Resist adding too much flour, or the scones will be dense and chewy.
  5. If you do not glaze the scones, they will rise more in the oven, becoming puffy and airy, but the flavor is more like bread or a cheese biscuit than a scone.  Still yummy – I like them both ways.  They cook a bit faster without the glazing, so if you decide to try them both ways, keep all the scones on any one baking sheet either glazed or not.

STORE

At room temperature, wrapped in a kitchen towel (avoid plastic wrap or Tupperware, as it will make the scones soggy) for 2 days.  Frozen for up to 6 months.  Reheat in a 400 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes.

SEASON

Year round.

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2 comments

  1. arugulove

    These look so good! I adore mimolette…But if I had some on the house, I just don’t know if I could stop eating it plain long enough to grate it and put it into a baked good.

  2. Pingback: Day 53 | luinael

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