Savoury Scones
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  • 300g flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 20g butter
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 100g grated tasty cheese
  • 65 g chopped bacon
  • Chopped chives or parsley *
  • 250 ml milk
  • * Add a little finely grated onion if you wish.
  • 2 breakfast cups flour
  • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups grated tasty cheese
  • 3 rashers chopped bacon
  • Chopped chives or parsley*
  • 1 cup milk
  • * Add a little finely grated onion if you wish.

Savoury Scones

Scone recipes are always very simple, and so their success depends a lot on the skill of the maker. We all want light scones, not doughy or leaden lumps, and because they are quick breads made not with yeast but with chemical raising agents like baking powder, they must be made speedily. Shirley Dunphy was known for her feather-light scones and she contributed this recipe to the 1963 Tokoroa recipe book 'Cooking for Fun.' Her savoury scones smell wonderful as they cook and are very tasty indeed. If you are not confident with scones, here are a few tips. Have everything ready before you start; make the mixture fairly soft and slightly sticky, rather than firm and dry; mix the milk into the dry ingredients with a rounded table knife; make sure the oven is very hot indeed with a heated pizza stone in it if you have one. Don't cut warm scones with a knife - it compacts the crumb - tear them open or split them with the tines of a fork before slathering on the butter. And lastly, make them often. You will quickly build up your skills and scone-making will not be a worrying challenge, but a pleasure.

Getting ready

  1. Preheat the oven to 450º F / 230º C and put in a pizza stone to heat, if you have one. Line a baking tray with baking paper or sprinkle it with flour. Chop the bacon and herbs finely and grate the cheese and the onion if you are using it. Flour your bench and have more flour at the ready.

Mixing and baking

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, and rub in the butter with your fingertips.
  2. Add the grated cheese, bacon and herbs, keeping back a handful of the cheese to go on the top of the scones. Toss everything together gently.
  3. Pour in most of the milk and mix quickly with a round-bladed table knife, until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  4. Turn the dough onto the floured bench, sprinkle the top with more flour and pat out into a neat circle about 8 in / 20cm diameter.
  5. Brush the top quickly with milk - I just use my fingers for this - and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese. Grind on some black pepper.
  6. Cut the mixture into eight segments using a long knife and transfer them gently to the prepared baking tray. If you use baking paper, and have a pizza stone, you can slide the scones, on the paper, directly onto the stone.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating after about 8 minutes, until they are golden brown on top and crusty at the sides. Cool slightly on a rack and serve with butter.