Thursday, 18 July 2013

Cheese Scones on the last day of term

Having just had a few days away with the family, this post comes to you a little delayed...

Anyway, the last day of term is clean up day in the school Food Room. Every class does their share and is rewarded with a fresh baked (frozen pre-made) chocolate chip cookie and a Milo. My Level 3 class, having already sampled a few cookies in the past few weeks were not interested in any more. On a whim I offered to make them cheese scones. They were stoked with the idea.

Cheese Scones

4 cups plain flour
8 teaspoons baking powder (yes, really eight)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried mustard powder
ground black pepper
about 150g butter
2 to 3 cups grated cheese
2 eggs
enough milk to top the eggs up to 2 cups liquid

Preheat the oven to 200deg. C and line a large tray with baking paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and mustard powder into a large bowl. Grind in the pepper. Grate the butter into the flour mixture. No need to measure the exact quantity, just use the increments on the butter paper to estimate how much to add. Toss the flour through the butter, then use our fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs.
Stir the grated cheese through the mixture. Into a measuring jug or two cup measures crack the eggs and top up to a total of two cups of liquid. Use a fork to blend the eggs and milk.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk and egg mix. Use a table knife to gently stir the mixture to combine. Do not over mix or the scones will be hard and will not rise properly.
When the mixture is only just combined turn it out onto some lightly floured baking paper and gently flatten and shape into a rectangle. The mixture should be quite wet. Sprinkle a little flour on top if required. Do not knead!

Use a sharp knife to cut the scone dough into squares and place onto the lined baking tray.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until nicely browned. Test the scones for doneness by tapping on the bottom - it will sound hollow if properly cooked.
Allow to cool a little before breaking open as required. Don't try to cut open a hot scone with a knife or it will appear doughy inside.

Add lashings of butter and everyone is happy. I've been making this recipe for years and it never disappoints. Add fresh chopped herbs  to the mixture if you have them. Finely sliced bacon is also a favourite. Happy baking!

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