In an early summer post I’ve introduced you to pogácsa, the pastry above all else of my country. This time I’ve decided to leave my comfort zone and venture out into the world of flaky biscuits, exploring the scone kingdom. (Did not risk going all out though, as you’re about to see.)
Turns out these two are closer than I thought!
The origin of the scone is lost in the mists of the British Isles – read the clever title of one article I came across when I was doing research on the topic. They got their start as a Scottish quick bread, made with unleavened oats and baked on a griddle, then scored into 4 or 6 wedges to serve.
Today’s versions are made with wheat flour, butter and milk, leavened with baking powder and baked in the oven both in the traditional wedge form and in round, square or hexagonal shapes. They are widely available in bakeries, grocery stores and supermarkets just like pogácsa, except I’ve never seen our baby cut to triangles.
And that is what actually made me want to try scones! Shapes affect our subconscious mind, could you ever have imagined?
Another important similarity between the two contenders is that making them at home is often closely tied to heritage baking. Both tend to be made using family recipes rather than recipe books, since it’s always a family member who holds the best and most treasured recipe (hello, grandma!).
But, and here’s the catch – British scones are most often sweetened, while pogácsa is always savory. I simply couldn’t deny my roots, so the search for savory scones began. And strictly entre nous, but there seems to be life beyond lemon curd, jam and clotted cream!
In parts of the world where afternoon tea is not a thing, scones have joined muffins and croissants as breakfast and on-the-go snack alternatives anyway, the same way we like to enjoy commercial pogácsa.
I’ve read through quite a lot of recipes and after much consideration decided on a cheese and herb scone. It turned out rather well: rich and sturdy and compact. I could easily break off pieces to nibble on and stowed one in my bag the next day without worrying about it getting smooshed. I also put some leftovers in the freezer wrapped in plastic, and after a round in the toaster it was like they just came out of the oven.
Verdict: definitely going to make scones again. Maybe even try a sweet one! I’m not so terribly discriminating about my biscuits after all 🙂
I can’t really tell where this recipe is adapted from as I picked out and merged and tweaked it based on about a dozen different ones, so I shall be generous with myself and call it my own.
Two things I’ve learnt along the recipe testing: it’s important not to over-mix the dough to get tender and flaky scones, and it takes a little more time to bake them golden than was suggested.
I give you the result of my trial and error:
Gouda and Chives Savory Scones
Cheesy, savory scones flavored with the subtle taste of chives. Makes 8.
2 cups AP flour (or 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup AP)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chives, dried (or 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh)
1 cup shredded gouda cheese
¾ cup buttermilk
115 g (1 stick) very cold butter, cut to small cubes
- Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients, including cheese and chives.
- Work butter cubes in the dry ingredients using your fingers until texture resembles pea-sized crumbles. Work quickly so butter stays cold.
- Add buttermilk, and barely stir together. Just get the dough to hold together without kneading it smooth. Lumpy is fine!
- Slap it on the parchment lined baking sheet and form a disc about 2,5 cm (1”) thick, handling the dough as little as possible.
- Cut into 8 wedges and bake until golden, 30-35 min. Enjoy warm!