It was a holiday and we ended up watching ‘The Help’ on TV that morning. As a rule I have stopped watching depressing movies because they seem to drop me in a funk for days. But this is a beautiful and inspiring movie which will nevertheless leave you in tears. I wanted to whip up some comfort food but didn’t want to go to all the trouble of frying up some chicken.
It’s been a long time since I made scones. My mom used to make them with dark raisins for tea. I thought I will try out a deep, cheesy version. You can use any kind of hard cheese for this recipe. I had some Parmesan, Mont Gomery Jack and good old Amul lying around. Sharp Cheddar works superbly to give you that deep indulgent cheese flavour.
2 cups maida
1 cup of grated mix cheese (any type of hard cheese, not mozzarella-types)
1 tsp ground black pepper (ideal if you make it fresh in a pestle and mortar)
1 tbsp of granulated white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup regular Amul butter
½ cup milk
Let’s get cooking:
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and the sugar. Cut up the butter in cubes and add it to the flour.
Now you need to use forks or knives to cut the butter into the flour. Don’t use your hands because the warmth will melt the butter. I used a large spoon to cut and squish the butter into the flour. You end up with a mix which kinda looks like breadcrumbs.
Add your grated cheese and pepper. You can also add a tablespoon of herbs like chives or oregano. You can also substitute the pepper for red chilli flakes for more heat. Mix it well so that the cheese is evenly distributed throughout the flour.
Add some of the milk and start stirring the flour to combine it into dough. Add more milk as required but the goal is to make rough dough. It shouldn’t be too moist. Do not over stir it. It should just come together (this is very tricky so go slow with the milk. I ended up with just a little more milk in my dough this time as you can see in the picture below).
Lightly flour a flat surface and roll out the dough to form a log of about 3 inch diameter. Cut slices of about an inch thick. If you have a round cutter then you could roll out the dough to an inch thick and cut out circles. Brush the tops with some butter or milk.
Line a baking sheet with some foil or parchment paper and place the scones. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes or till they lightly brown.