Flaky Savory Scones
South Africa was a British colony, so there is a lot of English influence in South African culture. The love of simple, savory scones is one of them!
For the longest time, I felt intimidated by just the idea of making scones. There seems to be too many steps, and thus too many opportunities for me to mess it up. However, I don’t feel that way anymore, thanks to this recipe. Yes, there are steps to follow but they’re not hard. And, by following them, you get a buttery, flaky, moist scone with a delicious center and crispy edges.
You certainly don’t have to be a baking expert to follow this recipe. I’ve included a few helpful tips below to guide you through.
Easy, Flaky Savory Scone Recipe
Prep Time: 35mins | Cook Time: 25mins | Servings: 4-6 | Difficulty: Easy
2½ cups of all-purpose flour (For best results, use pastry flour or a combination of all-purpose and pastry flour.)
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons baking powder
½ cup (1 stick) frozen (or cold) butter
1 large egg
1⁄3 cup heavy cream (+ a little extra for brushing)
1⁄3 cup sour cream
Scone Recipe For Savory Scones
- First, mix the wet ingredients in a chilled bowl. Mix together your egg, cream, and sour cream. Set aside while you prepare the dry savory scone ingredients.
- In another chilled bowl, mix together your flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
- Using a chilled cheese grater or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients. (A pastry cutter is usually used but a cheese grater makes the job a little easier.)
- Incorporate the butter into the mixture. Be careful not to overmix. You want to see pea-sized chunks of butter.
- Use a wooden spoon to stir in the wet ingredients. If you have scone add-ins (see below for examples), now is the time to add them.
- Over both hands with flour, then finish the process by kneading. Work the dough by folding it over onto itself a few times. Do not overwork the dough—overworked dough will result in tough scones.
- Next, place your dough onto a floured surface.
- Working quickly, create 6-8 portions. You can use a cookie cutter to create circles or use a knife or pizza cutter to create triangles. Keep in mind—the thicker your portions, the taller your scones will be.
- Place the savory scones in the refrigerator to chill for 45 minutes, or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- As it gets closer to the end of the chill period, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celcius).
- Place the shaped scones onto a lined baking sheet. (You can line it with a baking mat or parchment paper.)
- Position your savory scones at least 3 inches (7-8cm) apart.
- Finally, brush the top of your scones with cream. This delivers a nice brown color.
- Optional: sprinkle a little coarse salt onto each scone.
- Bake your scones for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celcius). Do not open the oven, but turn down the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celcius). Continue baking for 8-15 minutes until it’s golden brown.
- Do not overbake. Let your scones rest on a wire rack until they’re cooled down.
- Serve warm or completely cooled down.
Traditionally, scones are enjoyed with a little bit of butter and jam—but that’s for sweet scones. For savory scones, you can have them plain, or mix in some of your favorite ingredients. You can also keep it simple and simply sprinkle cheese on top before baking them.
To include scone mix-ins, you will need to fold in about 3/4 to 1 cup into your scone dough.
Here are a few savory scone mix-in ideas:
- Bacon and cheddar;
- Sun-dried tomatoes;
- Parmesan cheese and rosemary;
- Kalamata olives and feta cheese (Greek style);
- Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes;
- Chopped up pepperoni and grated mozzarella (pizza style). Serve with warmed marinara sauce.
Helpful Tips For Baking Savory Scones
- Use frozen (or very cold) butter. Chilled butter delivers a flaky texture and a better rise.
- Think cold. When it comes to scones, cold is always better. For best results, put your mixing bowl and pastry cutter in the refrigerator before you start.
- Delay preheating the oven. Ovens create heat in your kitchen, which may heat your scone dough. Avoid this by delaying this step until later.
- Don’t overmix. Only mix your scone ingredients until the dough comes together, then stop.
- Lumps are good. You’re not looking for a smooth pancake-like batter. You want lumps.
- Chill your scone dough after you mix it. While they’re chilling, you can preheat the oven. This final time in the refrigerator/ freezer relaxes the gluten and yields a tender, flaky texture.
- Choose your scone add-ins wisely. You can add almost any ingredients but you don’t want something saucy. If you are using frozen ingredients, do not thaw it.
- Do not overbake. You’re not baking cupcakes.