AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: The Great Scone Caper DATE: 5/26/2008 09:09:00 PM ----- BODY:
My friend asked me the other day, “Why can’t I find a good savory scone?” It’s not even a question of finding a good savory scone; it’s really finding any savory scone. The usual suspects of bakery-cafes – 1369, Diesel, Carberry’s – are all lacking. Rumor has it that Panera sometimes offers savory varieties, but they are not conveniently located, and on principle I try to avoid national chains in favor of supporting the local store owners.

The only true resolution is to make the scones myself.

I thumbed through my favorite (and most trusted) cookbooks for foolproof recipes – Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook and The Professional Pastry Chef -- only to find one or two recipes... for sweet scones. When I lived in San Francisco, I recall having a fabulous scone – in fact my first ever scone – at Greens Restaurant and bakery in Fort Mason. It was a cheddar-scallion scone, and I have never seen it since. Much to my dismay, their cookbook was devoid of any scone recipe, too. A search on Epicurious yielded quite a few, but based on the recipe reviews, none seemed perfect – one was deemed bland, another didn’t have the butter cut into it, and so on… I piecemealed together the “best practices” of each recipe.

I opted for bacon, cheddar and scallions. Feel free to omit the bacon or the scallions.

Bacon, Cheddar and Scallion Scones
3 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 scallions, washed and cut into rings.
3/4 cup chilled whipping cream (or combination of milk and cream)
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Put bacon in a skillet, and cook over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy. Drain bacon on a paper towel.

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter using your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese. Whisk cream, mustard and egg in small bowl, and add the scallions and the bacon. Add cream mixture to flour mixture and gently knead until just combined.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Gather dough together; divide in half. Pat each half into 6-inch round. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.

Bake scones until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Transfer scones to rack and cool at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. They can be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. If desired, rewarm in 350°F oven about 5 minutes.)

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:OpenID limeduck DATE:5/27/2008 10:17:00 AM This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous limeduck DATE:5/27/2008 10:18:00 AM This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger David DATE:5/27/2008 10:25:00 AM Brava, Julia! I'll post some of my own pics of the great savory scone adventure soon. What's next, sage scones? Sure beats a luna bar for breakfast! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Anonymous DATE:5/30/2008 12:58:00 PM I was reading on another blog that said you should freeze individual scones before baking them so that you can bake them as you eat them. Is that your recommendation? Does it work as well for sweet as for savory scones? Any tips would be appreciated. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:5/30/2008 02:07:00 PM Hi Anonymous,

For sure, the scones taste best if you bake them and eat them straight away. But certainly freezing them individually is a very close second. I like doing it this way because I can make a large batch, and then eat them as the mood strikes... I can just reach into the freezer and grab as many as I want. To me, this is better than baking them and eating them a few days later. The texture starts to deteriorate the longer they sit. This will work well with sweet scones too. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Curry Leaf DATE:10/22/2008 03:40:00 PM Wonderful Scone.I have twisted it a bit but hope its okay.Keeper recipe ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Krysta DATE:11/10/2008 01:42:00 PM i guess i shouldn't give up... i'm trying these ones next! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:11/10/2008 06:04:00 PM Krysta, GOOD! I think you'll really like these! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Pam DATE:11/20/2008 08:21:00 AM You're right, great minds think alike! I like the idea of mustard too... too many choices.

That being said, Tealuxe makes a delicious savory scone - I think it's typically cheddar and chive/scallion, but they don't always have the same varieties. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Barbara DATE:12/29/2009 07:13:00 AM Love your recipe. I like savory muffins too! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Grace DATE:12/30/2009 08:24:00 AM perhaps i need to abandon the hope of finding a tasty sweet scone and just go with the savory option. this one sounds delightful, and perfect for sopping up some pan juices. :) ----- --------