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 -- 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 piece-mealed 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
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.)