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?