Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Scone, A Scone, The United Kingdom For a Scone! - Savory Black Pepper & Gruyere Scones

While in England back in '99 I became addicted to scones.  Sometimes delicately light and fluffy, other times tender and flaky.  Upon returning to the U.S. of A. I found myself in a state of yearning for those delectable treats to accompany my coffee or tea.  Being the eternal optimist, I always try the scones at whatever coffee house I happen to find myself in. Sadly, my optimism is soon crushed by bleak reality.  Cause lemme tell ya... Be it San Diego, Portland, San Francisco, L.A., Uniondale, Palm Springs, Yuma or Seattle, they are always like hockey pucks.  Which I don't understand at all.  Maybe they have just been sitting around too long or something, cause those horrendously dry crumbly things are NOTHING like what I was eating in England.

I find it frustrating.  I think I am going to start smuggling my own homemade scones into the coffee shop.

Now I must go on record as stating that while a traditional lightly sweet scone lavishly adorn with Devonshire Cream or Crème Fraîche and topped with Lemon curd or Raspberry preserves is the paramount addition to any cup of coffee and tea, occasionally I am in the mood for a savory scone.  Enter the Black Pepper & Gruyere scone.  They are awesome.

Because of the extra fat from the cheese, I tend to stick with my "Cream Scone" recipe, which is a flaky scone made without eggs, as opposed to Buttermilk scones or what I call Basic Milk scones; both containing Eggs and they tend to be fluffier.  Because of the "turning" of the dough, I cut my cream scones in triangles; where as with Buttermilk and Basic scones, I just use a 2 inch biscuit cutter.  After all, that was how they were made in England, like lightly sweet wee biscuits.  Now Bannocks; those were pressed into a round and sliced into wedges... But that is another post.

Black Pepper & Gruyere Scones

10 oz (285 g) AP Flour
1 TB Baking Powder (Aluminum Free please)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
5 TB Unsalted Cultured Butter (they better the butter, the better the scone)
1.5 oz (45 g) Gruyere cheese, finely shredded
8 oz (235 ml) Heavy Cream

In a medium bowl, whisk the Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Black Pepper together.

Add the sliced Butter.

Rub the Butter into the Flour until you have small pea sized bits.

Add the Gruyere cheese and toss to get it coated.

Form a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the Heavy Cream.

Mix with a fork until a soft dough begins to form.

Knead the dough as necessary until it comes together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle that is roughly 7x10 inches.

Fold the dough over into 1/3rds (just like you would for Puff Pastry dough or Croissants)

Then roll it out again into a 7 x 10 inch rectangle (this is called "turning" the dough) repeat the folding and rolling 2 more times for a total of 3 turns.

When you have completed the 3rd folding, roll the dough out again, into a 7x10 inch rectangle and, using a VERY sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 Triangles.

Move these to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Cover with Plastic wrap and chill the dough for 1 hour.

At the 1 hour mark, begin preheating the oven to 425 degrees (go ahead and leave the scones in the refrigerator... the extra 10-15 minutes of chilling won't hurt them)
Remove the scones from the ice box, remove the plastic wrap and bake the scones for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Move scones to a cooling rack as soon as possible or the bottoms may become a little soggy and loose their crispness.

Enjoy while still slightly warm, slathered with copious quantities of cultured butter.

Scones are best when eaten the same day that they were baked, as they tend to become stale fairly rapidly.



Patti T. said...

Your blog posts just seem to transport me to your kitchen, I feel like I am sitting on a stool across from you and you are telling me the stories behind the recipes. Too bad I am not really there and able to taste these delicious creations. I even love the plat that you put the scones on!

Danielle said...

I refuse to even try a coffee house scone. They just don't look appealing in their denseness. I've made scones before but I don't think they came out as fluffy as yours. and yes..sometimes savory is what the pallet needs :)

The Dutch Baker's Daughter said...

Shane, you make the best stuff. :) Everytime I mention "scone" to anyone, they think it's going to be dry...not so with yours. I like the savory kind, too.

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