What Are Cheddar Scones?

Dan Harkins

The biscuit has long been a favorite accompaniment to tea time. For those living in the United Kingdom, that biscuit often goes by the name of scone. These fluffy-yet-flaky biscuits are regularly left plain or stuffed with sweets like chocolate chips, honey butter or berries. They also can be led in a savory direction by placing chunks of cheddar cheese and even scallions and bacon all through the dough for cheddar scones instead.

Cheddar cheese.
Cheddar cheese.

Originating in the United Kingdom, scones have spread throughout the world in popularity, from sweetened varieties like strawberry cream cheese scones to savory like cheddar scones. Usually resembling an American-style Southern biscuits, only triangular in shape, they are not hard to make at home with basic pantry ingredients, even cheddar scones. They can be made in two main ways — with butter as the fortifier or with cream instead.

Bacon is often added to cheddar scones.
Bacon is often added to cheddar scones.

Before the advent of baking powder in the middle of the 19th century, scones were typically flat-looking biscuits that were cooked on a fire-heated griddle, according to the Jones Scones bakery chain in the American West. These would not rise all that much higher than the glob that was dropped on the pan, which is the reason some call these drop biscuits. Later, baking powder allowed for a fluffier, less-flaky dough. In 2011, bakers vary their recipes to incorporate both of these elements.

Cheddar scones are not the sole province of expert bakers. A mixture of flour, baking powder, sugar and salt is combined with crispy bacon bits, grated cheddar, some pepper and chopped scallions. According to a recipe at the Food Network Web site from the Big Daddy's House show, into this mix goes enough cold butter to form a gluey dough, though some cooks prefer to knead cream into this mixture instead. After the dough has been rolled out — either into a circle and sliced like a pizza or into a rectangle and sliced into more perfect triangles — the cheddar scones are brushed with butter, egg or cream. They can then be baked at 425°F (about 218°C) for no more than 18 minutes.

For this savory style of scones, typical coverings include simply some butter or maybe even garlic butter. When cheese is used in the recipe, like with scones constructed of feta, tomatoes and fresh herbs, no butter will be necessary. Though frequently served alongside an entree, for lunch or dinner, these scones also make for a suitable breakfast.

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