Cheshire Cheese and Chive Scones
- 250g plain flour, plus more for rolling/cutting out
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Demerara sugar
- 60g butter, softened
- 20g fresh chives, finely chopped
- 200g Cheshire cheese,finely grated
- 60ml milk
- 1 medium egg
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds or flaky sea salt, to decorate
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- Preheat the oven to 220℃/200℃ fan/gas mark 7. Put the flour, baking powder, sugar and 1/4 tsp fine salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Alternatively, whisk together in a large mixing bowl if not using a machine.
- Add the butter to the food processor in 4 pieces and pulse until fully blended into the flour – it should look like very fine crumbs. If not using a food processor, rub the butter fully into the flour with your fingertips. Add the chives and briefly pulse/stir to fully combine. Tip the flour and butter crumbs into a large mixing bowl and stir through 100g of the Cheshire cheese with a fork.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg and set aside 1 tablespoon to glaze the scones. Add the rest to the flour mix, folding everything together with a spatula to make a shaggy dough – do not overmix as it will make the scones tough.
- Press the dough together with your hands inside the bowl, then tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead 4-5 times to bring together into a smooth dough – do not over knead. Press the dough into an even disk.
- Lightly flour the work surface again and roll the dough about 2cm/1-inch thick with a rolling pin. Fill a small bowl with flour, dip in a 6cm/2.5-inch round cutter, then stamp out 6 rounds, flouring the cutter each time you stamp. Don’t twist the cutter as you press down – this will seal the edges and stop the scones from rising properly. Briefly re-knead the dough (try not to over knead) and cut out the last 2 scones, flouring the cutter again.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper (this is important as the cheese can stick) and use the remaining 100g cheese to heap 8 piles of grated cheese on the tray, evenly spaced (about 2 tbsp per pile). Place a scone on top of each pile of cheese. Brush the scones with the reserved egg wash and decorate with fennel seeds or flaky sea salt.
- Bake the scones for 10-12 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through so they cook evenly, until well risen and expanded, golden brown on top and surrounded by a puddle of crispy cheese.
- Remove from the oven and cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes, then use a metal spatula to carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
Serve with butter or turn into a brunch with scrambled eggs, avocado or smoked salmon.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Not suitable for freezing (the cheese will deteriorate). Baked without the cheese crisp, the scones are freezable in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly at room temperature.
Rewarm in the oven at 160℃/140℃ fan/gas mark 3 for 5 minutes.