Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Make: Cheese Board scones

I'm always sentimental for Berkeley, CA - my very first home in the land of bays and bridges. I miss its beautiful hills, the palms and droopy-tropical angel's trumpet trees in every yard, the old black man who insisted I was his daughter, the Berkeley Bowl (bowling alley-converted health food store!!), my foreign (and domestic) roomies and most of all I miss the CHEESE BOARD, an employee-owned bakery, cheese and pizza shop that fed me so well that year. Thanks to Design Sponge I can now bring a little bit of Berkeley to my kitchen whenever my heart desires!

Gruyere and Herb Scones, adapted from The Cheese Board: Collective Works

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely ground yellow cornmeal
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pound Gruyere cheese, grated
½ cup chopped herbs (I like thyme and chives)
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and salt together into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add cornmeal and whisk together.

Add the butter to the dry ingredients, and, using the paddle attachment, beat on low speed until butter is the size of small peas. Add the Gruyere and herbs and mix just until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Put the buttermilk and cream together in one bowl or liquid measuring cup, and then slowly add to the mixture on low speed until it is just combined and there is a little flour left on the bottom of the bowl. You may not need all of the liquid!

Empty the contents of the bowl onto a floured surface. Pat the dough together and work in any pieces of dry dough. Sprinkle some flour on the top of the dough, and, either using a rolling pin or just your hands, press the dough until it is about 1 ½ inches thick. Using a circular cookie cutter, dipped in a little flour each time, cut out the scones. Feel free to roll any scraps together and cut those, too. (Alternatively, you can shape the mound of dough into a rectangle about 9 by 6 inches, divide the dough in half lengthwise, and then cut each piece into 6 even triangles.)

Place scones onto prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Brush the beaten egg onto the tops of the scones and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, or until light brown on top.

Yields about 12 smaller scones or 6 big scones.

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