One of my favorite parts about this book is the anecdotes about working for, well, a cheese collective/co-op bakery, which is just as strange and inspiring as you would imagine. There are quirky quotes from former members:
"I do a lot of baking by sound. The scones have a sound they make when they have mixed the right length of time and have the right amount of liquid. It's a smacking, kissing sort of sound. You have to make the scones many times to get to know what that sound is."
- Carrie, p49
As well as notes about each recipe and scans of the original cards used at the shop:
Awesome, right? My only note about this cheese scone recipe is 1) use the best quality, sharpest cheddar you can find - it seriously ups the quality of the dish, and 2) feel free to add some herbs into the mix. I was inspired by Peter Reinhardt's Herb & Cheese Popper recipe in this month's Bon Appetit magazine, and I threw some fresh chives into this batch of scones. De-lish! My only regret is that I didn't put in more, and try some thyme, basil, sage, etc.
But I know what you really came here for - the recipe.
Cheese Scones adapted from The Cheese Board Collective Works
(makes 8-12 scones, depending on size)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 pound sharp orange cheddar cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- chopped fresh chives
- 1 egg, beaten
2. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and cayenne pepper into a large bowl.
3. Stir in salt and cornmeal. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture is the size of small peas. Stir in chunks of cheddar and chives.
4. In center of flour mixture, make a well. Pour in milk and buttermilk, and stir until just combined, careful not to overmix. The cheese should still be in big chunks, and there should be a bit of flour left at the bottom of the bowl.
5. Transfer dough to a generously floured surface, and pat it into a 6 by 9 inch rectangle.
6. Using a serrated knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise and then cut the smaller rectangles into even triangles - six, if you want twelve scones, or four, if you want eight larger scones.
7. Place scones on pan several inches apart. Brush the tops of each with beaten egg.
8. Bake on middle rack for 30 minutes, or until scones are lightly browned and cheese has burst forth into glorious, crusty pools.
These have been a staple in our house lately, and are an excellent companion to a bowl of soup on a cold fall night. They're also excellent in the morning, at lunch, or in the no-one-is-watching-and-I-want-cheesey-goodness-now hour. Also known as every hour.