A few weeks ago at work one of the chefs in the company restaurant/canteen made cheese and bacon scones. I had one and almost immediately had to try to make them myself. Call it inspiration if you like. I had a chat with her and discovered that she had used pancetta rather than bacon. I made cheese scones before but the bacon/pancetta was new to me. The following Saturday morning was icy cold – minus eight plus wind chill so it was a perfect baking morning and I modified my standard scone recipe (that my mother taught me when I was a child) to come up with this one. This should make 12 easily but I made 14 out of my batch of dough.
75g chopped pancetta, cooked and left to cool until cold.
100g sharp strong cheddar cheese (I like my scones very cheesy and savoury you could use less. 60-100g). Grated.
75g cold hard butter (grated or chopped into small pieces).
500g white spelt flour (you could use white plain flour here and I do if I am making plain or fruit scones). The spelt adds a lovely nutty taste. Plus a little extra flour for kneading.
300 ml milk plus either a little extra milk or a beaten egg.
1 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 ½ tsp of cream of tartar
1 tsp of English mustard powder.
Others things: Heat oven as hot as it will go (220 ˚C or 200 ˚C in a fan oven minimum) and line a baking tray with parchment. Use a pastry cutter or glass to cut out scones. Also use a rolling pin.
1. Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and mustard into a large bowl.
2. Add the grated (chopped) butter. Make sure it is as cold as possible. The grated butter makes a huge difference here. Improves the rise and the texture. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like sand.
3. Add cooked pancetta and cheese and mix through thoroughly.
4. Add all of the milk and mix briefly to form a dough. You want to handle the dough as little as possible to avoid your scones becoming tough and rubbery.
5. Turn out on to a floured surface and knead briefly. Roll out and pat out until 3cm thick.
6. Dip the cutter or glass in some flour and cut out the scones. You may need to re-roll/re-pat the dough to get all the scones out of it.
7. Place on the baking tray close together and brush only the tops with milk or beaten egg.
8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden. Eat while still warm.
Next time I make these I may try a little dried chilli as well as the mustard as they didn’t have quite the hit of heat I wanted. Otherwise these are everything I want in a savoury scone.