Scones are eaten all over the British Isles and anywhere the British settled around the world. They are biscuit-like pastries that are similar to quick breads, and can be either sweet or savory. Scones were first made in Scotland around 1513 and were made with oats and were griddle-baked. They became popular in England as part of the English tradition of “Afternoon Tea” when the Duchess of Bedford ordered her servants to bring some sweet breads to her along with her tea, in the late 18th century. She enjoyed them so much that they quickly became part of her daily routine, which grew into the British tradition of Afternoon Tea.
There are a couple of theories about how the name of scones, also known as skones, came about. One is that the word originated from the Dutch word “schoonbrot”, meaning beautiful bread. The other notion is that they were named scones after “The Stone of Destiny” where Scottish Kings were crowned. The second theory seems more plausible to me since scones were created in Scotland.
Scones vs. biscuits. What is the difference between the two? They are similar, but they are also different. Scones tend to be made with eggs, whereas biscuits are not. And scones are usually drier, more dense and flakier than biscuits are. Both, however, are very good.
My mother was born and raised in Southeast Texas and my dad emigrated to the United States from Australia after WWII . When my mom and dad first got married, my dad kept asking her to make him some “proper scones”. Bless her little heart, she tried and tried, but they just never came out quite right. After quite a few unsuccessful attempts at making scones, she gave up and made biscuits instead. My dad said those were exactly what he had been wanting her to make all along.
Today, scones come in many different varieties. Though I made my pepper and cheese scones for Easter, but we enjoyed them first with our Good Friday meal.
Scones with Pepper and Cheese
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
1 tsp salt
4 strips of bacon, diced small and cooked
1 shallot, minced fine
1 cup buttermilk – I use dried buttermilk mixed with milk
Preheat the oven to 400* F or 200* C.
Spray a baking sheet with coking spray.
Cook the bacon first until it is crispy.
In a food processor, pulse all the dry ingredients and the cold butter until it is crumbly like pieces of sand.
When the dry ingredients are blended together, mix in the bacon and cheese.
Then mix in the egg and buttermilk, saving about 1 TBSP for later. Mix everything together just until everything is well incorporated. Do not over mix, or you will loose all the flaky qualities you are looking for in your scones.
When everything is blended together, knead it on a lightly floured surface just long enough top form it into a ball. Then cut into 8 equal wedge portions.
Brush the remaining egg and buttermilk mixture over the top of the scones and on the sides. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the scones are light and flaky and golden brown.
Slather them with butter while they are still warm and eat them up. Enjoy.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. Happy Easter/Passover.