The days are cold, rainy and short right now and truly, nothing beats a bowl of soup for lunch - right now, pumpkin is high on the list. But I need a little smackerel (as Pooh would say) of something to add a bit more heft to the meal and can I tell you, I do love a herby, cheesy scone. A bowl of gloriously coloured orange soup and one of these scones is a perfect marriage in my opinion and a perfect meal for me. These take no time to throw together, are quick to cook and best of all freeze well - I can just grab one from the freezer to warm in the oven whilst the soup warms up - a quick meal - most often lunch - whilst I am hard at it, here at my desk getting the final bits together for the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training. I'm incredibly excited, but right now there's just so much to get through I'm literally just ticking jobs off the list. Latest job ticked off? Order all the dry goods and get a new spare bed for the spare room so Jeanie and Holly actually have a bed to sleep in when they're here. (And, even more important, my daughter has a bed to sleep in if she stays over, and not a swag on the floor). Jeanie and Holly will both be here for parts of the program teaching and I can't wait to see them.
That's it from me right now, this is a short post but as we move into chef training, I'll keep you updated and share it with you. Stay warm....
HERBY, CHEESY SCONES
I've used spelt flour here as it is my undisputed, all time favourite flour giving a gorgeous crumb and an easier digestion. I've used 50% unbleached white and wholemeal, but honestly you can easily use 100% wholemeal if desired. You can also use wheat but will most likely need more milk to bind (as you will if you use 100% wholemeal spelt). The mix should be moist - and please, don't go playing with the mix once it's been bought together - no kneading or playing - do the bare minimum !! I added some cooked pumpkin to mine - I had steamed some for pumpkin pie and had about 5 smallish chunks left over which I roughly chopped and added.
130 gm /1 cup unbleached white spelt flour
145gm /1cup wholemeal spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons rapadura sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
generous pinch of fine ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
heaped handful of grated well flavoured cheese (not vintage as it doesn't melt well) + extra for the top
couple of gratings of a fresh pecorino cheese - about 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
125ml full cream, non - homogenised milk
125 ml cultured buttermilk or yoghurt
100gm very cold unsalted butter, cut into rough 1 cm pieces
Pre heat the oven to 200c or 180 c if fan forced. Lightly sprinkle a baking tray with extra flour and also a work surface with a generous (1/4 cup) of extra flour.
Put the flours, baking powder and sugar in a bowl and sift in the baking soda. Add the salt, pepper, cheeses, rosemary, half the sage and whisk through to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Combine the vinegar, milk and buttermilk in a measuring cup and set aside.
Using your fingertips or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs (don't overwork this stage). Add the milks and mix with a large spoon to just combine. The mix should form into a moist, but not at all sloppy dough.
Turn the dough out onto the floured work surface and pat the dough to form a rough circle about 20cm round x 2.5cm thick - you may need to lightly flour your hands. Using a sharp, floured knife cut 12 wedges (you may need to re flour the knife in between cuts) and place on the lined tray, leaving a small gap in between each one. Don't stress too much if the loose some of their shape, they will still taste divine. I use my knife or palette knife to move the scone from work surface to tray. Sprinkle the remaining sage over the top and as much extra cheese as you like - bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until just cooked.