These scones seem to be a massive crowd pleaser every time I make them. I have heard the odd passing comment about never having heard of savoury scones before, but those scone doubters appear well at ease with the concept once they taste them!
The recipe came about, around this time last year, when I put together an afternoon tea and shared some of the how to's on the website Liveability and in this post. I had decided on savoury scones because as I was baking everything for the afternoon tea, I felt that making mini quiches or similar would just take up far too much of my time. The weather was also quite hot, so baking things that not only had relatively short cook times seemed necessary and serving hot food on a hot day seemed a little ridiculous.
Despite this, I still needed a couple of savoury elements to balance the sweet things I had planned to make. I decided on these scones, as they fit my short cook time criteria and I knew that if all the scones weren't eaten on the day, the leftovers would freeze well.
The flavour combination ended up being a little bit of a fluke. I had always planned on using thyme, having tried a couple of savoury scones at The Tea Salon in Sydney with thyme, I then really wanted to make some myself. The original recipe I used called for cheddar, so I bought some.
Unfortunately once I opened the cheddar it was mouldy, and had to be thrown out. Luckily we always have Parmesan in the fridge, so I used that instead and the flavour combination turned out really well. I have since stated using Grana Padano instead of Parmesan, as I prefer the slightly stronger flavour.
So finally after a year, these scones make an appearance here on the blog. I hope they become an crowd pleaser for you too!
450g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
75g grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, plus extra
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus extra
125ml sparkling water
2 tbsp lemon juice
full cream milk, for brushing
unsalted butter, to serve
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper, and dust a little flour over the top.
Place the flour, cheese and thyme in a large bowl, and sift over the baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients together, adding more thyme if it is looking a little sparse.
In a jug, quickly and briefly whisk the cream, water and lemon juice together, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix together with a flat bladed knife, then turn out on to a lightly floured bench. Lightly knead the dough to bring it together, then press to dough out until it is 2-3cm thick.
Using a 4.5/5cm cutter cut out rounds from the dough, dusting the cutter with flour if the dough sticks too much. Place the rounds on the prepared tray, leaving no gaps in between each round. Bring the dough back together and continue cutting until it is all used up (you should get about 20 rounds).
Brush the tops of the cut scones with the milk, and sprinkle with the extra cheese and thyme. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and puffed. Turn the tray in the oven about halfway through so they cook and colour more evenly.
Serve warm with the butter and extra fresh thyme leaves if desired.
Reference: ‘Bill’s Basics’ by Bill Granger (HarperCollins Publishers, 2010), p.50.