I experienced a real craving this morning, a super strong urge to bake. I felt like I really had to be in the kitchen with my apron on, creating something warm, fragrant and tasty or else the day would not feel right. Usually when a craving hits hard it's for something sweet and naughty, but today the craving was different and it had to be savoury. Mmmmmmmmmm, warm cheesy scones I thought.
I sent a message to my friend who had produced the most marvellous cheesy scones at a picnic in the park early last week. When she emailed me the recipe (it was from Paul Hollywood's Bread book), my heart sank a little as it required Strong White Flour and I didn't have any of that in. And I couldn't possibly wait you see, I needed to bake right there and then. So I looked in my baking drawer and thought I would try using wholemeal self raising flour instead. Yeah...wholesome, good for savoury things. It'll work out, right?
I made up my dough. Flour, a wee bit of sugar and baking powder, milk and eggs. I put butter in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Mixed it all messily in a big bowl with the hands. Sticky. Not particularly pleasant, but keep going, it's gonna be good. Savoury! Warm and fragrant! Stick with it!
Got the dough out on the work top, dusted with flour, attempted to knead for the required four minutes, but nope, it was not working out. This was not kneadable dough. So I pondered for a moment, and then thought arrrrgggghhhhbloodyhell I forgot to add the bloomin' cheese! Quick! Wap some grated cheese on top of the unkneadable dough and try to work it in. Push it in with fingers, pokey pokey, work the dough around a bit, flatten it out roughly with palm of my hand, bang, bang. I feel I am being a bit brutal, aren't you sposed to be light and airy with scones?
But anyhow, joy of joys, I got to use my most excellent and colourful round cookie cutters with the fluted edge, yaaayyy! I managed to cut out 12 scones, roughly 1.5inches tall, some considerably flatter than others. Onto a baking tray and into a hot oven, set timer for 15 mins.
I needed coffee then, fresh hot coffee. So I poured milk into a mug, opened the microwave door to pop it in to heat, and there sits a blob of butter in a dish. Eh? Butter? What the heck? Ah. Yes. Butter. The butter that should have gone into the scones. Pfffffff.
After fifteen anxious minutes of pacing and slurping coffee, I opened the oven door to take a nervous peek. I expected flattened cookie-shaped scone-biscuit hybrids. Fat-less ones. But LOOK!!!! The scones worked! They actually worked! Despite the wrong flour and the lack of kneading and the weird fingerpoky method of cheese incorporation, and the distinct Lack Of Butter, they rose up and looked remarkably edible!
Oh happy day!
I immediately went into lunch mode and prepped a scone for testing. Slice in half whilst still warm and butter liberally. Add some thin slices of strong cheddar, sliced cherry tomatoes, lots of seasoning and some snips of fresh chives....
.....oh yeah, look at that! It looks pretty darn good for a failure.
Mmmm. Mm-mmmm. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Taste wise, not cheesy enough. Texture wise...I think I would use the word "substantial". They weren't heavy as such, but wholemeal flour is pretty well, wholemeal isn't it? I would try half wholemeal/half white flour next time. And definitely more cheese added in at the correct moment.
The funny thing was that afterwards, I tried to search for the original Paul Hollywood recipe online, but could only find this one :: "wholemeal cheesy scones". Which happens to be almost identical to the fat-free recipe I inadvertently created in my kitchen this morning. And yup, just as I thought, he uses a wholemeal/white flour mix, and double the amount of cheese in this recipe. Plus he adds parmesan (good idea Paul!) Will need to give that a go then and improve on my scone making skills.
PS.....thank you to Carole from Rossendale who reminded me to go look in my trusty little never-fail Be-Ro recipe booklet! Of course! This will be my very next baking adventure...simple, cheese scone triangles...genious!