How to make cheesy scones

Scones are one of those things that on paper look very simple to make, you only need a few ingredients and they take no time to bake, so why is so difficult to get perfect scones every time? Well, let me share with you what works for me:

  1. A hot oven: Make sure to preheat your oven at least 20 minutes before they are ready to bake. I like to bake them right in the middle of a 200°C oven on the fan setting; that way, they rise up quickly and become golden brown evenly.  
  2. Fresh baking powder: Try not to use a tin that has been sitting in your pantry for a long time. If you want to test the freshness of the baking powder, just add 1/4 teaspoon to 1 cup of hot water mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar, if the baking powder bubbles immediately, then it is fresh.
  3. A cold dough: To achieve this, make sure the butter is cool but not frozen. I also like to place the dough in the freezer for a few minutes right before I’m going to bake them.

Here is what you need to make 8 triangle-shaped scones:

  • 280g / 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 120g / 8 tbsp cold butter, cubed
  • 350ml / 1/2 cup full-fat buttermilk 
  • 3 eggs
  • 120g / 1 cup cheddar, cubed
  • 50g / 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 200°C/392°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. 

In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, smoked paprika and salt. Add the butter cubes and using a couple of knives, make zig-zag movements until most of the dough looks like pea size bread crumbs. You could also use your fingertips, a pastry blender or a food processor. Dinner knives are my weapon of choice.  

In a separate bowl, mix two of the eggs with the buttermilk and fold it into the flour mixture until just combined. Add the cheddar cubes and grated Parmesan, and fold until everything is well combined. Cover the bowl with cling film and let the dough rest in the freezer for 5 minutes. 

Dust a surface with flour, gently knead the dough into a 1 inch thick disk and cut into 8 triangles. You could also use a scone cutter or round cookie cutter if you prefer round scones.

Place the scones into the prepared baking sheet, making sure there is at least 1 inch in between them. Crack open the remaining egg into a small bowl and whisk it with 1 tbsp of cold water to make an egg wash, brush the scones and bake them for 20 minutes or until golden brown.