Rosemary and feta scones (a recipe)

Close up shot of rosemary and feta scones. Image: Su Leslie, 2107

Rosemary and feta scones. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Ingredients (makes six large scones)

300g self-raising flour*

Good pinch sea-salt

50g very cold butter

220-260ml cold milk

100g crumbled feta cheese

Good handful (or about two tablespoons) roughly chopped fresh rosemary. If you’re using dried herbs, about 1-2 teaspoons.

* You can use plain flour and add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder. Make sure it’s not bread flour, which has more gluten and the scones won’t rise as well.


Pre-heat oven to 220°C.

Sift flour into a bowl; add salt. Cut in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir through rosemary and feta.  Add enough milk to form a soft dough. Don’t over-mix.

Tip onto lightly floured baking tray and knead gently a couple of times. Roll or press dough until it is about 2cm thick.

I kept the dough in a round, and cut into 6 wedges, but you could use a cookie cutter for more traditional round scones.

The dough doesn’t spread much so you can bake them close together on the tray.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire tray (just long enough that they’re not too hot to handle).

Some additional thoughts

The basic scone recipe I used comes from the Edmonds Cookery Book. It’s a kind of bible of traditional Kiwi food, and I’d wager that most of the home-baked scones consumed here have their origin in an Edmonds’ recipe.

When I looked for alternative recipes, I found some that add extra baking powder to self-raising flour and some that use  baking soda and cream of tartar as separate ingredients. I found recipes that use buttermilk or yogurt, some with a mix of butter and lard as shortening, and even some that included eggs.

I’m intrigued by these variations and will probably experiment — with different leavening agents at least. I don’t think I’ll try adding lard though, and as for eggs? Doesn’t that just turn the mixture into muffins?

Do you have a favourite scone recipe? Baking powder, or baking soda and buttermilk? Butter or lard? Do you add eggs?

I’d love to know how these variations work. And of course, what extra ingredients do you add?

54 thoughts on “Rosemary and feta scones (a recipe)

  1. Pingback: It’s time for scones and copyright issues. | This, that and the other thing

  2. I shall give these a go. Need to buy the feta though. I must look up my mother’s old scone recipe, she made the best scones. It will be scribbled on a grease-stained bit of envelope somewhere in my recipe album!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t thought of girdle scones in years. Mum used to make them (short pause for delicious memory). I like the idea of using yogurt or buttermilk. They make sense to me in terms of the chemistry of baking. I’ll have to try an oil substitute recipe too. So many great ideas coming out of this one post. I’ll be busy baking for ages 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing the recipe, Su!!! 😀 And the scones look sooooo delicious! I´m going to make a batch of these in the next days! Totally giddy with excitement already 😉
    I only ever made traditional scones with milk, butter and baking powder. Eggs totally sound wrong, that´s just muffins, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. well just this week I was asking someone the difference between baking powder and baking soda- and the only thing I came up with was that baking powder had aluminum – which binds? I dunno – but I don’t want aluminum.
    I used to use cream of tarter back int he 90s – but never knew why – something about complexity of flavor, which is why we might add something sour like buttermilk? or cultures – ?
    either way, enjoyed your thoughts at the end and to add one more comment – we must stay away from all white-wheat flour and have found that coconut flour can make a decent biscuit. Never tastes “as good” – no way – but at least an option that the GI is happy with. 🙂 oh and coconut flour seems to require less – like a little goes a long way – and so I mix 1/2 cup with 1/c of ground almond flour – and it is pretty good. need to try this rosemary – feta idea…. mmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s my understanding that baking soda is a base (alkaline), while baking powder contains both a base and an acid. That means it reacts when you wet (or heat?) it. Baking soda only reacts when you add something acidic, like buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice.
      Cream of tartar is the acid part of baking powder.
      I’ve used coconut flour in a raspberry chocolate cake, but found that it absorbs a lot more liquid than wheat flour, and I struggled to get the finished cake moist enough. I’ve also made Vietnamese-style crepes with it, but never though of using it for scones. If you try it, let me know how it works out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • oh thanks for explaining (I read it slowly to absorb it. ha)
        and I will keep you posted – we have used the coconut flour for biscuit like things – lol – and it was better than nothing. It seems like coconut flour requires less – like if a recipe calls for a cup of white flour, it might mean a little more than 1/2 cup – not sure – still working and experimenting 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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  6. Pingback: Rosemary and Feta Scones – Culinary Pique

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