Breakfast in hand. Reminiscent of a muffin. And not quite a biscuit. I’m told the scone is a small English quick bread that can, with some degree of certainty, trace its roots back to Scotland. I first encountered them on a trip to London over a cup of Earl Gray. I fell in love with their sweet cake like texture along with the mounds of strawberry jam and clotted cream they were made for. Or visa versa.
Since then, I’ve made dozens upon dozens of the classic, sweet cream variety. So much so, my British cookbook automatically opens to the recipe’s batter spattered page.
And while I love the sweet variety, I was curious. Was there something else out there? Something that went beyond jam and heart stopping, clotted cream? I was in the mood for savory. So I thumbed through several cookbooks in search of a recipe to satisfy my craving. (Or entertain it at the very least.)
I came across options for cheese scones, bacon scones, even onion scones. All of which sounded delicious enough. But I wanted more. I wanted a savory scone that was second in line to a complete breakfast. Everything in one hand so to speak.
So I adapted
I started with a base scone batter, leaving out the sugar and substituting buttermilk for heavy cream. Then I borrowed from the things I like to pile into an omelet. Red and green bell pepper. Scallions. Jalapeños. Crumbled cooked sausage. And of course, lots and lots of cheese. Before I knew it, I had emptied the entire contents of the kitchen into the mixing bowl. The batter was over stuffed with lots of goodies. All fat and happy.
This ought to be interesting.
As I watched them bake to a puffy, golden brown, a savory aroma wafted through the house, immediately attracting my biggest fans. Two dachshunds and a basset. (My wife was out of town.)
There we sat. Three wagging tails off to one side of the oven. And me on the other side, sipping a cup of coffee, and occasionally checking on the progress of the scones.
The timer went off and the moment of truth arrived. They looked wonderful. Smelled even better. As for their taste…well, that hit the mark too. True, they were about as far away from a sweet scone as anyone could get. But I was perfectly okay with that. Creating the “kitchen sink” of savory scones was exactly what I had in mind. And in hand.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Fresh ground black pepper (3 – 4 grinds)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (chilled but workable)
- ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced green bell pepper
- 1 diced jalapeño (half first and remove seeds)
- 4 scallions thinly chopped
- 1 cup grated extra sharp yellow cheddar
- 1 cup grated extra sharp white cheddar
- 8 ounces of cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage
- ½ cup buttermilk mixed with 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water (set aside)
- Sea salt (for topping)
- Extra grated cheddar cheese (for topping)
Make approx. 16
- Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
- Cook crumbled sausage according to package directions. Set aside.
- Sift together all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, spices) into a large mixing bowl.
- Using a pastry blender, cut butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.
- Using spatula or your hands, gently mix in the red and green bell pepper, jalapeño, scallions, cheese and sausage until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Form a well in center of the ingredients, add buttermilk and egg mixture and lightly mix to combine. Dough should come together easily. If it appears too dry, add a little more buttermilk.
- Turn dough out onto flowered surface and roll out to ½ inch thickness.
- Using a biscuit cutter, cut and place scones on a prepared baking pan, about ½ inch apart.
- Brush tops of scones with egg yolk water mix.
- Top half of the scones with a little bit of cheese. Top the other half with a pinch of sea salt.
- Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, tops should be golden brown.
Serve warm with butter.
Store uneaten scones in covered container in the refrigerator. Use within 2-3 days.
To re-warm, place in 300° F oven for 10 – 15 minutes.