Labels are Arbitrary: Baked Spinach and Cheddar Sconey-Biscuits
November 11, 2010 § 4 Comments
In Mark Bittman’s cookbook How to Cook Everything, he says that scones are basically ‘ultra-rich biscuits’. Something in me wants to disagree. There is a part of me which has a deep affection for scones with their soft, dewy innards and sturdy, craggy shell. My dream scone is slightly salty and gathers its lingering sweetness from chunks of fresh fruit nestled into a combination of whole wheat flours and luxurious fresh cream. Biscuits are all good and fine, they just dont have the heartwarming appeal of my beloved scones. Not that a buttery, flaky biscuit is not the perfect home for a fried egg on a Sunday morning. They simply lack the versatility of additions which makes scones wonderful.
The scones I set out to make this week were of the savory sort, with caramelized onion cheddar cheese from Trader Joe’s and fresh spinach aching to be devoured. I expected the cheese to make up for the fact that there was no cream in the house and would have to settle for 2% milk. This was where the scone began its descent into an oozy, bright, spinach spattered biscuit. It lacked the density of a traditional scone but was not quite the flaky texture of a true biscuit either. This is surely a new breed of baked good.
Spinach and Cheddar Sconey-Biscuit
Thank You Mark Bittman for your outline of scone recipes. Cooking Everything has been a great go to for basic techniques.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
chili pepper or garlic to your liking
5 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup milk or heavy cream (preferable)
2-3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 cup grated/chopped cheddar cheese (I used aged cheddar with caramelized onion)
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven preheats mix all the dry ingredients together (flours, bp, salt, seasonsings). Cut the butter into cubes and begin to use your fingers to add the butter into the flour mixture by rubbing/pinching the cubed butter in until the butter and flour is all blended and looks sandy. When the butter is about the size of rice grains you have succeeded. Now beat the two eggs and milk or cream then add the cheese and spinach all in the same bowl. Slowly incorporate the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir briefly, and knead even more briefly, adding more flour if it seems too sticky to handle.
Now flatten the cheesy, spinachy, dough into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick.
Some scones are triangular and some are round, so choose your shape and get cutting. I used a simple glass as my mould.
Transfer the scones to a baking sheet as you cut them. With the dough scraps just re-flatten and cut in the same manner. I topped my scones with extra cheese, but you can coat them with an egg wash (1 egg+ 1tbs water) if you prefer a glossy finish.
They will be nice and golden after about 8 minutes (give or take a minute).