The main reason that cheese scones fail is because they can easily be over handled, and the butter becomes too warm and melts into the flour before the baking time. This recipe uses a handy kitchen gadget to make sure that the scones stay incredibly light and fluffy. I’ve been working on perfecting these for about a year, and I think that the recipe is now perfect. Use a good quality fresh flour for these, and the scones will be all the better for it.
Cheese Scones (Hands Off)
A foolproof cheese scone recipe that is impossible to over-handle
- 340 g self-raising flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 80 g unsalted butter chilled and cut into cubes
- 120 g strong/extra strong cheddar cheese finely grated
- 40 g parmesan or grana pedano fine, freshly grated
- 150 ml milk (plus extra for glazing)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (see notes for alternatives)
Preheat a lined metal baking sheet in a 200 °C oven. It is very important to have the baking sheet ready and hot, so do not skip this step.
Place flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper in a food processor and pulse several times until all dry ingredients are combined.
Add the cubed butter to the food processor and stir with a spoon to coat in flour. Pulse the blender in very short bursts of no more than 1 second until the butter is fully combined in the flour, which now resembles fine breadcrumbs in texture.
Add all of the cheddar and ¾ of the Italian cheese, and pulse again to combine.
Add all but a splash of the milk and pulse for a few seconds at a time until the mixture starts to come together to form a crumbly dough. It won't form a solid lump, but you should see the start of it coming together. If it isn't, add the last splash of milk and pulse again.
Remove from the processor onto a floured surface and briefly press together until it is a single lump. It may be full of cracks, and that is fine. You are not looking for a smooth dough.
Roll to 2cm in thickness. Again, cracks in the dough are fine.
Cut into triangles or hexagons using a sharp knife, or into rounds using a 7cm fluted cutter.
Glaze with a thin coating of milk using a pastry brush
Remove hot baking sheet from oven and place scones quickly on it. Sprinkle the remaining Italian cheese on top and return to oven and bake for 16-18 minutes until lightly coloured on top.
For a flavour twist on these cheese scones, swap out the cayenne pepper with some onion or garlic powder and some finely chopped chives, or use a hot smoked paprika or a pinch of mustard powder.