a blog by Gemma Thomas.
I am three weeks into my bread-free lent and have started craving grilled cheese sandwiches. Not just any grilled cheese sandwiches either, but a very specific one: The Macbeth from Deeney’s. Haggis, cheddar, caramelised onions and rocket. Even thinking about it is sheer torture.
I have gratefully received many brilliant suggestions for bread-free breakfasts since I gave up bread for lent, but have not quite moved into that realm of embracing healthier breakfasts entirely. For example, my fried potato consumption has increased rapidly; especially since I found out that I could have my avocado, eggs and sriracha on hash browns or waffles instead of toast. I am also making rather a lot of pancakes these days. That being said, I have made more porridge and smoothies in the past three weeks than I have in the last three years, so am making steps in the right direction, if only small ones.
I had a bit of a debate with a friend the other day about whether scones were classed as bread, and therefore whether they were off-limits to me during lent. I didn’t really set up a classification before I started on what was bread and what was not, but am avoiding anything reasonably termed ‘bread’: tortillas, pizza, sweet buns etc. You get the idea. Despite my friend’s protestations, I don’t really class scones as bread. We argued for some time about baking methods, ingredients and raising agents, but I still maintain that a scone is more akin to a cake.
I think it is something to do with having them as part of an afternoon tea with jam and cream; but just to throw an additional spanner into the works in the argument, my all-time favourite scones are the savoury kind. Whilst lying in bed the other night, I remembered these cheese, chive and mustard scones that I used to make all the time, and what a great breakfast they would make whilst I was in the bread-free abyss.
The last time I made these scones was for the Band of Bakers ‘Inherited Bakes’. The idea was that we all baked something from a recipe that we had inherited from a friend or family member. I would often bake scones as a child with my Nan; although she never wrote down any of her recipes; so it seemed like a fitting choice. As I never have a years-old, prized memory card to work from, I tend to invent all new scones on the base of Dan Lepard’s Everyday Scones recipe from Short and Sweet. This recipe has always produced good scones, and it is easy to add other ingredients as you wish.
I have always preferred savoury scones to sweet, and adding cheese to anything will always win fans. Now if only I could get that sandwich out of my head.
Cheese, Chive and Mustard Scones
Originally posted at www.theboozyrouge.com
250g low fat plain yoghurt
25ml whole milk
15g caster sugar
400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp fine salt
1½ tsp mustard powder
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g salted butter
300g strong cheddar, grated
3 tbsp snipped chives
1 egg, beaten
Twist of black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220ºc. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
In a small bowl, mix together the yoghurt, milk and sugar and set aside.
Sift the flour, salt, mustard powder, cream of tartare and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese and chives.
Using a palette knife, stir in the yoghurt mixture until a sticky dough is formed. Use the moisture in the dough to pick up any loose bits of flour from the bottom of the bowl. Turn out on to a floured work surface and pat into a round approximately 4cm thick – try not to knead the mixture as this will create a tough texture. Cut the scones out using a metal cutter and place them on the baking tray. This mixture should yield about nine scones, but it will depend on the size of the cutter you use. Brush with the beaten egg and grind a little black pepper on the top and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and risen.