Portion/Yield:Makes 6 large scones
Comté cheese is one of my favourite cheeses. It has a mild, distinctive fragrance and a slightly sweet taste. A good quality strong Cheddar cheese or an alpine-style cheese will work equally well for this recipe.
The combination of semi-dried tomatoes and cheese, along with some English mustard powder and chopped spring onions and chives, is for me at least, one fine combination. If you are opting to use sun-dried tomatoes instead, then I recommend that you hydrate them first in boiling water to moisten them and to release the flavour within (make sure you drain and pat them dry before use).
These delicious scones are ideal for breakfast, brunch or as a snack, or served as an accompaniment with soup.
Ingredients & Method
- 225g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons English mustard powder (I use Coleman's)
- a pinch of sea salt
- a couple of grinds of black pepper
- 50g chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 50g Comté cheese, grated, plus a little extra grated cheese for sprinkling on top
- 40g spring onions, finely chopped
- 30g semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 medium egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water or milk, for glazing
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Lightly flour a baking sheet and set aside.
Put the flour, baking powder, mustard powder, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and mix, then rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the Comté cheese, spring onions, semi-dried tomatoes and chives and lightly mix into the flour mixture. Add the large egg and buttermilk and lightly mix to make a dough, being careful not to overwork the mixture.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, then roll it out lightly using a rolling pin to a thickness of about 3cm. Using a round cutter or a sharp knife, cut out the dough into 6 large rounds or squares, gathering and using any trimmings too.
Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one. Lightly brush the scones with the beaten egg wash to glaze, then sprinkle with a little extra grated Comté cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until risen and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and transfer the scones to a wire rack, then leave them to cool slightly before serving warm (they are also delicious served cold). To serve, split them in half and serve spread with butter. These scones are also perfect served with steaming bowls of homemade soup.
This scone mixture is also ideal for making bite-size canapé scones to serve at drinks parties. Make and roll out the dough as directed above, then cut out about 12–15 rounds or squares using a 3cm round cutter or a sharp knife. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes. Leave them to cool completely, then split the scones in half and serve them filled or topped with chive-flavoured cream cheese and thin slices of bresaola, finished with a touch of cress. (For finger food, serve the scones filled with cream cheese, etc; for canapés, serve them as halves and top each half with cream cheese, bresaola and cress.)
These scones are best eaten on the day they are made. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature and eat within 1–2 days. Alternatively, freeze any leftover scones for up to a month, then defrost overnight at room temperature before serving. Reheat the scones in a preheated oven at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 to warm them through before serving, if you like.