Om nom nom nom.
That’s all I can really say about this recipe from The English Kitchen. And this one from my pal Caroline at The Wanna Be Country Girl. But which one to make?
Oh come on. You knew I was going to do something ridiculous like that. It’s in the title for Pete’s sake. And any excuse to make these beauties twice is a good one.
So here we go.
Bacon, Cheddar and Rosemary Scones from The Wanna Be Country Girl:
First, fry up about 6 slices of bacon. I discovered at the last second that my bacon was still frozen, so I did something genius. While I was doing the dishes I popped the sealed package in the sink and when I was finished with washing up the bacon was ready to go.
Because I was so pleased with myself I made it a round 7 slices. You’ll want to fry this up extra crispy. Set it aside to drain and cool, then break into a million little pieces.
Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of salt (if you’re using salted butter leave this out), and 1 tablespoon sugar (I actually forgot the sugar, and I don’t think it made much difference). If you don’t have a hand sifter, you can shake your flour through a fine sieve instead.
Cut 6 tablespoons butter into small cubes (it’s like halfway between 1/3 and 1/2 cup butter) and plop that into the flour mixture.
Use a pastry cutter or your hands to incorporate the butter into the flour, so in the end all you get is crumbs.
Find yourself some fresh rosemary.
Take about three sprigs of that and chop it up so you end up with about 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary. Add that to the flour mix.
Find yourself some sharp cheddar. If you have access to a Costco or you live in Ontario, make it a lovely Balderson aged cheddar. It makes everything better.
Gren knows exactly what the cheese grater looks like, where it’s stored, and what it does. Unfortunately, I am not as liberal with my cheese droppings as the Pie is so he was disappointed today. Grate up about 1 cup sharp cheddar and add that to the flour mix.
Crumble up your bacon and add that to the flour mix. Give the whole thing a good stir so everything is evenly distributed.
In another bowl, plop 2 eggs and 1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream, in Canada). Stir that up.
Pour the liquid into the flour. Stir it around as much as you can.
Eventually you will need your hands to make everything stick together into a ball. Knead that ball once or twice inside the bowl.
Dump the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it down to a thickness of about 1 1/2″. Use a cutter or a knife to divide it however you wish, and transfer it to the baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, checking to make sure they’re not browning too much.
This one was pretty much fresh from the oven and the butter melted just looking at it.
We may have eaten these for dinner one rainy night. Don’t judge us.
Cheese and Bacon Scones from The English Kitchen:
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Grab yourself a baking sheet.
Fry up some bacon. The recipe calls for 4oz of bacon (who weighs bacon? The British, naturally), but in the interest of fairness I just used the same amount as I did in the last batch, which was 7 slices bacon. Go for extra crispy, then let it cool and break it up into wee bits.
Sift together 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt into a large bowl. I love my sifter, but a simple sieve is easier on the hands and a mite quicker. If you think your cayenne might be extra fresh, I would recommend using slightly less than a teaspoon — that stuff can build on you.
Use a pastry cutter, and then probably your hands, to work 2 tablespoons cold cubed butter into the mix, until you have a crumb-y consistency. Same as the last one.
Grate up 1 cup sharp cheddar (again, go Balderson or go home).
Add that to the flour mixture, along with the broken bacon.
Whisk together 1 egg and 1 2/3 cups buttermilk. You can sour milk with lemon juice, or vinegar but it’s not quite the same.
Make an extinct volcano with your dry ingredients (dig a crater, yo) and pour the wet stuff into the hole.
Mix this into a soft dough with your hands while trying the whole time not to knead it. Apparently in this recipe kneading is a no-no. Dump your doughy mass onto a floured surface and pat the sticky stuff down with your hands until you get a little square patty about 3/4″ thick.
Then you cut it into about 15-20 pieces. I decided, for science, to do mine the same way I did with the previous recipe, to get a better idea of how each one cooks. Sliced into thick wedges, yis b’y.
Plop those onto your baking sheet and pop them into your oven for 10-14 minutes, or until they’re risen and a nice golden brown. Just remember that this time is for the smaller square scones. If you make them big fat wedges you’re going to need to bake them for about 20-25 minutes.
This recipe says to let them cool on a wire rack, but I’m not sure I can wait that long. Where’s my butter?
AND THE WINNER IS
Okay well there is no winner. They’re both amazing. I loved the fluffiness and slow heat of the English Kitchen version, and the flaky rosemary-ness of Wanna Be’s was amazing.
I mean, if I make these again I’ll probably combine my favourite elements of the two, and come up with my own version. I always thought scones were hard, but these ladies have certainly corrected that assumption for me!