Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A Work in Progress - Cheese & Paprika Scones

So every now and then I get the temptation to make scones, but usually with a savoury twist. So far I've tried Stilton & bacon and St. Agur & Walnut, and today I tried to make cheese & paprika, with mixed results.

The basic scone recipe is from The Great British Book of Baking:

*This is the recipe as given in the book*

250g self-raising flour
A good pinch of salt
50g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 medium free range egg
About 100ml buttermilk or milk (non fat-free)

Preheat oven to about 220c/425f/gas 7

Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour using the tips of your fingers. For a light texture raise your hands just above the rim of the bowl so that the mixture falls back through your fingers. When the mixture looks like fine crumbs, beat the egg with 100ml buttermilk or milk and stir in using a round-bladed knife. Use your hands to bring the mixture together to make a  ball of slightly soft dough. If there are dry crumbs in the bottom of the bowl, work in a little more liquid.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead gently for a couple of seconds, just to bring it together. Flour your hands, then pat out the dough about 3cm thick and stamp out rounds wit a cutter. Press the trimmings together, pat out and cut more rounds.

Set he rounds slightly apart on the prepared baking ray and bake in the preheated oven for 10 - 12 minutes, until a good golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool slightly. The scones are best eaten while still warm, though any left are good split, toasted and spread with butter. 

Now for my changes:

  1. Firstly I should of omitted the sugar and added a little more salt. I blindly followed the recipe which is not something I usually do.
  2. I used milk instead of buttermilk. I usually use buttermilk, and wish now that I had.
  3. I added about 3tsps of paprika with the flour, but now wish I added at least double that. They did however turn a lovely red colour.
  4. I added about 100g of Cheddar, diced, just before adding the milk. My dicing wasn't small enough, so the chunks melted out of the scones during cooking. Perhaps I should grate it? (Debs suggestions!)
  5. Before putting he scones in the oven I sprinkled plenty of cheese and paprika on top - this is the only addition that worked well.
  6. Next time I'd also add some pepper and perhaps lemon zest to help the flavours develop (another of Debs suggestions!)
All in all, the scones taste great but they don't have enough of a paprika punch and the cheese dicing needs some attention. Next time they'll be great!

Sam x

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