Blue Cheese + Walnut Scones


 Prep Time : 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 15 Minutes | Total Time : 45 Minutes | Difficulty : Moderate

on rack

Scones have always been one of my baking Achilles heels – for some reason I just couldn’t make a great scone. I kept coming back to it and learning more about technique and trying again until I had mastered the dark art of scone making. Turns out that knowing a few important tricks and getting some practice in is all it takes!

The scone part of this recipe is a great all-purpose one – if you’re unsure about scones, try it a couple of times to build your confidence. The great thing is there aren’t any fancy expensive ingredients so if things go a bit wonky there’s no harm done. Plain scones are excellent, especially slathered with jam and whipped cream, but loading them up with cheese and nuts takes them to a whole new level. I first tried this moreish combo to go with pumpkin soup one evening and absolutely loved it. Sharp blue cheese and sweet walnuts are great together.

First we need to do a little bit of prep so that our scones come out perfect. Measure your butter and cut it into thin slices or flakes and then put it in the freezer in a dish. Measure the milk into a cup that won’t spill and pop it in the freezer too – don’t worry, it won’t be in there long enough to actually freeze! Turn the oven on (220C/430F) and measure out the flour and baking powder into a large shallow bowl. Whisk them together to mix well and incorporate some air. Make the filling by chopping the walnuts, crumbling the blue cheese and grating the cheddar. Scrunch it all together in a bowl with your hands until it’s well mixed.

mix 2

Retrieve your very cold milk and butter. Warm butter is the enemy! Add the butter to the dry ingredients and using only your fingertips rub the butter and flour together until it is a crumbly pile of flour and crumb-y bits and little bits of butter – the largest pieces should be about the size of split peas (I honestly sat here for ages trying to come up with a more attractive comparison but my imagination is not cooperating).

mix 3

Now pour in about 3/4 of the milk and using your hand like a big claw with fingers spread, rake the ingredients together – the aim is to get everything combined with a minimum of handling to prevent it getting too warm or tough. Depending on how finely incorporated the butter is you may need slightly less or more milk – I tend to use the full cup but you may need a little less.

mix 4

Now tip it out onto a lightly floured surface. Next, it may seem counter-intuitive but we are going to knead the dough very (very!) briefly, for 30 seconds at the most. This will bring all the ingredients together and provide a teensy bit of gluten development which will help them rise. The dough should be nice and even and combined. At this point put a baking tray into the oven to heat.

mix 6

To make the scrolls we need to roll it out into a rectangle about 1 cm (1/2 an inch) thick.

roll 1

Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the dough and grind a little black pepper over it. Leave a border about 2 inches wide at one of the long edges.

roll 2

Starting at the other long edge, carefully roll it up into a log. Make sure the edge is nicely stuck down along the border. Trim the ends so they are even, and slice into 8 pieces.

roll 3

Turn them up on their ends so the spiral of cheese goodness is visible and check that they are holding together.

roll 4

Quickly get the hot tray out of the oven, place the scones onto it with a good amount of room for puffing up and pop them in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes: my oven is a little cool at higher temperatures so they take a little longer. The scones should be risen and golden and the cheese well melted.

on rack

These scones are excellent both warm and cold the next day. If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, use this method to make them up with any ingredients you like – basil pesto, pine nuts and cheese is a super alternative – and since cheese goes with just about everything the options are endless!

Blue Cheese and Walnut Scones


Prep Time : 20 mins | Cook Time : 15 mins | Total Time : 45 mins | Difficulty : Moderate | Makes : 8 medium scones

Light fluffy scones wrapped around flavourful blue cheese and sweet walnuts.

Ingredients:

  • 310 gm | 11.1 oz | 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 55 gm | 2 oz | 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 250 ml | 8.9 fl oz | 1 cup full fat milk
  • 55 gm |2 oz blue cheese
  • 55 gm | 2 oz tasty cheddar cheese
  • 55 gm | 2 oz | generous 1/2 cup walnuts

Directions:

Measure your butter and cut it into thin slices or flakes and then put it in the freezer in a dish. Measure the milk into a cup that won’t spill and pop it in the freezer too – don’t worry it won’t be in there long enough to actually freeze! Turn the oven on (220C/430F) and measure out the flour and baking powder into a large shallow bowl. Whisk them together to mix well and incorporate some air. Make the filling by chopping the walnuts, crumbling the blue cheese and grating the cheddar. Scrunch it all together in a bowl with your hands until it’s well mixed.

Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients and using only your fingertips rub the butter and flour together until it is a crumbly pile of flour and crumb-y bits and little bits of butter – the largest pieces should be about the size of split peas. Pour in about 3/4 of the milk and using your hand like a big claw with fingers spread, rake the ingredients together – the aim is to get everything combined with a minimum of handling to prevent it getting too warm or tough. Depending on how finely incorporated the butter is you may need slightly less or more milk – I tend to use the full cup but you may need a little less.

Tip it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough very (very!) briefly, for 30 seconds at the most. This will bring all the ingredients together and provide a teensy bit of gluten development which will help them rise. The dough should be nice and even and combined. At this point put a baking tray into the oven to heat.

To make the scrolls we need to roll it out into a rectangle that’s about 1 cm (1/2 an inch) thick. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the dough and grind a little black pepper over it. Leave a border about 2 inches wide at one of the long edges.

Starting at the other long edge, carefully roll it up into a log. Make sure the edge nicely stuck down along the border. Trim the ends so they are even, and slice into 8 pieces. Turn them up on their ends and check that they are holding together. Quickly get the hot tray out of the oven, place the scones onto it with a good amount of room for puffing up and pop them in the oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. The scones should be risen and golden and the cheese well melted.

© 2014 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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