Savoury sage scones! Made with cheddar and chives and everything that jives with that oh-so-classic combination. These ones are fantastically golden and crisp on the outside, superbly soft and tender, beautifully flaky and layered on the inside (thank you butter), as well as a marvellous excuse for gathering friends and family around the kitchen table.
savoury sage scones
with cheddar & chives
makes around 9 scones
When it comes to scones, you want to keep the butter cold until the very end to maximise the level of flakiness in your finished bake. One way to do this is to chill the butter before you combine it with the other ingredients, and then, once shaped, to chill the unbaked scones once more just before placing them in the oven.
• 225g flour
• 11g (approx. 2.5 tsp) baking powder
• 4g (approx. ¾ tsp) fine sea salt
• ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
• ½ tsp espelette pepper or other finely crushed / powdered dried chilies
• ½ tsp chili flakes
• 55g unsalted butter chilled
• 120g total of freshly grated cheese — use mature cheddar, emmenthal, and/or gruyère in whatever proportions you like
• 100-120g cream plus a bit more for glazing
• ½ tsp dijon mustard
• fresh chives you’ll need enough to get about 2 Tbsp’s worth, once chopped
• fresh sage leaves you’ll need about 1 Tbsp’s worth, once chopped, plus 8 to 10 large whole leaves for topping your scones
• optional: extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 205°C/400°F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, crushed dried chilies, and chili flakes.
3. Cut the butter into cubes, then rub it into the flour mixture using your finger tips. Continue until the pieces of butter are pea-sized or smaller, and evenly distributed throughout. Sprinkle in all of the chopped herbs and 100g of the grated cheese. Mix again until well combined.
4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in 100g of cream. Stir through the dijon mustard, then combine the dry and wet ingredients until you arrive at a soft-but-firm dough that just comes together when pressed in your hand. If necessary, add up to 20g more of cream — a good way to do this is to remove the well-formed dough from the bowl and add liquid only to the dry crumbs remaining at the bottom, bit by bit. This enables you to hydrate only the parts of the mixture that need it, and avoids over-moistening the already-ready parts of the dough.
5. Tip the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and use the palm of your hand as little as you can to pat it out into a rough circle, about 2cm/¾in thick. Using a lightly floured 5.5cm/2″ wide glass or biscuit cutter, cut out 9 or so scones, reforming the dough into a rough disk as needed in between rounds of cutting.
6. At this point, if you have room in your fridge or freezer, place the scones on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and transfer them to either to cool. In the meantime, bring a small pan of salted water to a boil. Pop in your reserved sage leaves for 30-45 seconds, just long enough to blanch them, then transfer them to a plate lined with a dish towel and pat them dry. Doing this will help prevent the leaves from shrivelling up too much and burning in the oven while the scones bake. At this point you may also want to brush each sage leaf with a bit of olive oil, although you don’t have to — it’ll make the leaves extra crisp.
7. Remove the scones from the fridge or freezer if you left them to chill. Brush each scone top with a bit of cream, then sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over each scone, and top each one with a sage leaf.
8. Bake for 17 minutes or so (every oven is different!), or until the scones have well risen and their cheesy tops look crisp and golden. Once out of the oven, they should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Serve immediately, or enjoy for up to 4 days post-bake: simply store in an airtight container at room temperature and reheat in the oven before savouring again.
Serve the sage scones piping hot, straight from the oven. Slice in half, spread on some soon-to-be-melting butter (perhaps even top that butter with a cheeky mound of freshly grated parmesan), and sink in.
For video and more details, see the original post!
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