Blue Cheese & Walnut SconesThe Bread Lady
It’s no secret that I love, love, love blue cheese. I love it on salad, in mashed potatoes, on toast, and if I could figure out how, I’d probably put it in ice cream, too. In fact, I’ve been known to buy entire 10 lb wheels of Danish Blue and then spend weeks creating every possible food I can think of that somehow includes blue cheese. Some were, shall we say, interesting. Others were pretty good. This one however, is a real winner and I tend to make it way more than I’d like to admit.
The best way to enjoy these is hot out of the oven with a little butter and some fig jam or some other preserves. Clover or wildflower honey is great, too.
The key to any good scone is achieving a flaky, buttery texture. And the key to a flaky, buttery texture is making sure you add plenty of ice cold butter and heavy cream. My favorite technique for this is grating almost frozen butter and using a pastry blade (or a whisk if you don’t have one) to incorporate the butter. Then refrigerate the dry ingredients until you’re ready to add the wet. Simple enough, right?
It’s All About Technique
Okay, maybe not ALL about technique, however technique is very important. You can use all the right ingredients, but you can still overwork those ingredients giving you a denser texture. We’re going to avoid that by using a folding technique. It’s usually how I mix my biscuits together and I find this method works fabulously for scones too. Here’s the step-by-step.
1. Mix your dry ingredients together with a whisk. It adds air without having to sift. And make sure to use a big bowl so you have lots of room to work.
2. Cut in your very cold grated butter. you can use a pastry cutter, a couple knives or forks, or even a stiff whisk. I typically advise not using your hands only so you don’t add heat. You want that butter to stay as cold as possible. Many use a food processor for this step, but I find it tends to overwork the dough and that’s the last thing you want. It should be crumbly. And it’ll be a little messy, but I always say that it’s not fun unless it’s a little messy! Then add in the crumbled blue cheese and chopped walnuts. After this step, pop this bowl into the refrigerator until you’re ready to add your wet ingredients.
3. Whisk the wet ingredients together. Typically, I leave the heavy cream and egg in the fridge up until the moment I need to whisk them together. Again, the cold will work in your favor when it comes to the final product.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. When you mix them together, you will do so just until you can’t see any liquid separate from the dry. The dough will still have some unmixed flour and that’s okay. You’ll work it in with folding in the next step.
5. Pour dough out onto a floured work surface. I tend to do this directly onto the counter top. Then you’re going to begin folding and flattening the dough using a bench scraper/pastry scraper. Start by patting the dough flat, sprinkling with a little more flour if it’s sticky, then fold the top, bottom, and both sides to the middle, patting down flat after each fold. You’ll do about 7-10 folds, or just until the dough fully comes together and you don’t have any loose ingredients. Be sure to flour surface if the dough becomes too sticky to handle.
6. Form dough into an 8-inch disc. Using your hands, form the dough into a round flat disc, and then cut into 8 equal wedges using the pastry scraper.
7. Transfer wedges to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I usually use either the pastry scraper or a metal spatula for this. You want to leave at least 2 inches between the scones so they can rise without touching.
8. Brush with heavy cream. To give the scones a shiny, golden brown crust, use a pastry brush to coat the tops of the scones.
9. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Refrigerating the scones before baking will ensure they maintain their shape while baking. I find that when I skip this step, they tend to spread more and lose their shape. You can also make these ahead of time, keep them refrigerated and wrap the tray in in plastic wrap until you’re done with making the rest of your meal and just pop these in the oven so they can be served warm. That’s always the best way, isn’t it?
10. Bake until they’re golden brown. Like biscuits, scones bake in a pretty hot oven and take about 20-25 minutes.
Recipe: Blue Cheese & Walnut Scones
Prep Time: 30 min.
Bake Time: 25 min
Total Time: 60 min
Yield: 8 large scones
2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C butter (1 stick)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C heavy cream, very cold (plus extra for brushing)
1 egg, also cold
1/2 C blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 C walnuts, chopped
1. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, & baking powder in a large bowl. Grate cold/frozen butter and toss in the flour to coat it all over. Then using your pastry cutter or forks, cut the butter until it’s pea-sized or smaller. Much like you would with pie crust. Add in blue cheese & walnuts. Place in the refrigerator.
2. Whisk together cold heavy cream & egg.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together just until you don’t see any cream.
4. Pour onto a floured surface, and fold 7-10 times using a bench scraper until wet and dry ingredients are incorporated. Add flour as needed if dough gets sticky.
5. Form dough into an 8-inch flat disc and cut into 8 wedges.
6. Transfer wedges to baking sheet lined with parchment and brush with cream.
7. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
8. Bake scones 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @springhillbakery & @breadladytv so we can see!