I’ve been trying to avoid turning on the oven during our amazing continued warm weather here in the UK (this is how summer should be!), but when the idea of savoury scones popped into my head I knew it wouldn’t go until I’d made some. The good thing is, scones are quick to prepare and quick to cook, so staying in the heated kitchen is kept to a minimum.
My first attempt at making scones when I was in my twenties was a disaster. What came out of the oven were rock cakes. I guess I overmixed and/or overkneaded the dough. You can find plenty of tips online to ensure your sweet or savoury scones are as light as possible (I’ve added some at the end of the recipe). I ignored one tip never to use any kind of wholemeal flour (I used half white self-raising and half wholemeal self-raising flour) and I think they turned out pretty good anyway! If you’re not feeling confident about scone-making, use all white self-raising flour.
I made mini scones for mini fingers, but you can make any size or shape you like. I used a 4-centimetre round cutter and also cut out a few small butterfly shapes for Nicholas. (Mummy: ‘What sound does a butterfly make?’ Nicholas: ‘Flap flap’.)
Scones are definitely the yummiest straight from the oven with melting butter on top, but these are also lovely to have for lunch filled with some ham and cheese.
These scones freeze very well and are also something different to pop into lunchboxes. You can also add some chopped ham or cooked bacon to the mix as well as experiment with other grated vegetables. I’d love to hear your variations.
MINI CHEESE AND CARROT SCONES
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10-15 mins
Makes about 20 mini scones
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 cup plain self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
50g butter, cold
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp milk extra for glazing
Preheat the oven to 200C and line an oven tray with baking paper.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the two flours and salt.
Quickly dice the butter and add to the bowl. Using your fingertips, quickly rub the butter into the flour for a minute or two until it’s fairly evenly distributed (the consistency should be like coarse breadcrumbs). Don’t rub the mixture too much or the butter will melt.
Using a knife instead of a spoon, quickly mix through the grated carrot and cheese then add the milk, stirring until it’s just loosely combined.
Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it just enough to form a ball. Use your hands to flatten the dough until it’s about 2cm thick.
Cut out your desired shapes and place them on your prepared oven tray close together. Form another ball from the leftover dough and repeat.
Brush the tops of the scones with the extra milk and bake for 10-15 mins until golden.
- For a cheesy top, a couple of minutes before the scones are cooked, sprinkle over some extra grated cheese and pop back into the oven.
- Add some chopped cooked ham or bacon to the dough.
- Substitute the grated carrot with a different grated vegetable such as parsnip, courgette/zucchini or beetroot.
- Always use butter that’s straight from the fridge to avoid it melting when it’s rubbed into the flour (which leads to heavy scones); some cooks suggest putting the butter into the freezer for a few minutes after weighing it out, grating it into the flour and then quickly mixing it through rather than rubbing it.
- When cutting out your scones, don’t twist the cutter after pushing it into the dough; this seals the edges and makes it more difficult for the scone to rise.
- Putting your scones close together, even touching, on the oven tray helps them rise (a good example of teamwork?!?).