It seems like just about everyone is baking at home now during the lockdown, and the shortage of cream cheese, butter and flour is testament to its therapeutic qualities. Cutting cubes of cold butter delicately into flour in the quiet of the night, feeling nubby bits of dough form in between your finger tips, breaking into a golden yolk and whisking it into a homogeneous mixture. There's something so soothing and comforting about crafting a baked treat from scratch, with your own bare hands. Maybe it brings us back to simpler times, the Platonic ideal of hearth and home, where bread didn't come ready sliced and in a plastic package. Maybe it's the sense of satisfaction that comes from successfully creating something you'd normally pay a trained professional to do. Maybe it's just cheaper than therapy during these trying times.
I recently posted a tutorial on IG Highlights for these flaky bacon and cheddar scones. I've been making these buttery, tender little babies for more than 5 years now and they're always a huge hit. I give them out as gifts when someone's done me a huge favour (like say, bringing a cheesecake back for me from Japan), for celebrating special occasions or when I just feel like giving out little treats in the Central Business District. Well, now they're yours and you'll want any reason to make them. Bake them and pass it on. Perk someone's day up. Let the joy spread exponentially.
The key to their tenderness and incredible flavour lies in a mixture of creme fraiche and heavy cream, a nifty trick I picked up from Thomas Keller in his Bouchon Bakery Cookbook. I've also compiled a list of tips for scone baking at the end of the recipe. For the step by step visual guide, head on over here.These taste best freshly baked. If consuming them later, toast them for a couple minutes to re-heat and crisp up the edges. Serve with a pat of butter for maximum enjoyment.
140g unsalted butter, cubed AND VERY COLD
300g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 to 8 rashers of streaky bacon, cubed
150g cheddar cheese, shredded
65g heavy cream (You can also just use a total of 125g creme fraiche or sour cream)
60g creme fraiche