Friday, October 15, 2010

Sun Dried Tomato-Basil-Parmesan Scones

It was time to start dinner and on the menu was meatloaf and only because I had one in the freezer.  So nice and easy, as long as you remember to unthaw it in time.  I am not much for defrosting in the microwave because that can just get weird.  I might use the microwave to defrost something to get whatever it is started thawing, but that is it.  The microwave can be wicked. I will always have a microwave, but for me it has its limitations.

The other reason I wanted to make meatloaf is that I had made a spicy ketchup and I wanted to see how it was as the topping for the meatloaf.   It was really delicious but I think it still needs some tweeking.  I usually bake my meatloaf with tomato paste mixed with chili sauce instead of ketchup like most meatloaf lovers do.  Regular, store bought ketchup is too sweet for my taste and I like the tangy, savory flavor of tomato paste.  And for that extra special touch, about 15 minutes before it is done I cover it with sharp cheddar and continue cooking until the cheese has melted and has lovely, crunchy edges.  Yum, there is nothing like baked cheese.

Meatloaf aside, savory scones are what I am really about today.  Sun Dried Tomato-Basil-Parmesan Scones.  I had a lot of fun making these.  I am a big scone lover but until now I have only made sweet ones and I wanted a bread to go with the meatloaf that I was cooking.  I have had this savory version swooshing around in my head for a couple of days now and I need to make them or the universe will be out of balance.  (Don't recipes swoosh around in your head!).  Let's face it, I will just be annoyed with myself if I don't make them and they sound so darn good.  So, here goes!

Making scones is the same technique as making biscuits in that the fat is cut in, the liquid is then added and they are shaped into biscuits and baked at a high temperature.  The main difference between the two is that scones are usually sweet and have the addition of eggs and less milk and biscuits contain only milk.  The butter, flour and leavening ratios are basically the same.

For these scones,  mix up the dry ingredients . . . the all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, mustard, Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
Cut in the butter until it looks like course, clumpy meal.  It is better to have slightly larger pieces (no bigger than the size of a pinto bean) than for the butter to be completely incorporated into the flour.  This will result in better rising, texture and flavor.  I like doing this with my finger tips instead of a pastry cutter because for me it is quicker and I have cold hands.  Usually that is not a good thing!
Add the sun dried tomatoes and basil and give it a couple of stirs to evenly distribute.  Beat the eggs and buttermilk together with a fork and mix it in with the flour mixture until it comes together but is still loose.  It should easily form a ball. (I have no idea why I didn't take pictures here.) Place on a floured cutting board and pat into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick square or circle.  If you do a circle, you can cut it into the classic scone wedges.  I usually do a square and cut it into squares for a rough cut version of scones.  Yes,  you can always use a biscuit cutter for a more consistent presentation.  I did a bit of both for contrast and comparison.  If you cut them into squares, there is no leftover dough that gets over worked.  And it is a bit easier.  Just saying.

Place them on a greased pan (or lined with parchment paper) about 2 inches apart.
Brushed them with olive oil, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.
Bake them at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown.
Note:  Notice that I sprinkled some of the leftover chopped sun dried tomatoes over the top.  They look lovely don't they.  Well,  don't do it.  I repeat Do Not Put Minced Sun Dried Tomatoes On Top Of The Scones Before Baking.  I am not sure what I was thinking when I did this because I do know better.  They burn.  Really, they burn black.  I picked most of them off before pictures where taken but I left a few on for effect.  (All words starting with caps is not yelling, right?! Just emphasis! I don't want to be rude.  I just don't want you to make the same mistake I did.)

The interesting thing about the burned sun dried tomatoes on top.  They didn't taste burnt and didn't deter anyone from eating them.  These scones lasted about 12 hours and there were at least 24 of them.  Someone obviously had them for breakfast!  Not a bad idea with eggs.
I had some leftover tomato jam that was flavored with basil and balsamic vinegar that went really well with these.  I am not a big tomato jam fan and I am not sure why I still try to make it.  The thought of it is always better than how it actually tastes to me.  Maybe it is what you pair it with, which is the case with many dishes and condiments.  It was certainly good with these scones.  I am a big fan of this scone recipe and will make it again but next time I am going to try goat cheese instead of/along with the Parmesan.  What do you think?

Sun Dried Tomato-Basil-Parmesan Scones
makes about 20+ small or 8 large wedge shaped scones

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour, unbleached
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne
1/4 cup of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese 
1/4 cup of unsalted cold butter (1/2 stick), cut into pieces
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil (can substitute 2 teaspoons dried basil)1/2 cup of finely chopped sun dried tomatoes, loosely packed
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of buttermilk
Olive oil for brushing the scone tops
Additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper for sprinkling on top of scones

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, mustard powder, Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a bowl with a whisk. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or with your finger tips until the flour looks like course meal.  Toss in sun dried tomatoes and basil, stir once or twice to incorporate.

Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and add it to the flour mixture.  Stir until just mixed and the dough pulls together.  Place onto a well floured board and pat out a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick.  Shape the dough into a square to cut into square biscuits or a circle to cut wedges (like a pie or a classic scone).  I cut mine into smaller, rough cut squares.

Place the scones on a greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Brush with olive oil.  Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper and Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown around the edges.


Printable Recipe


  1. don't think i would have been deterred either--i bet they had enough fabulous flavor to override any little burnt bits (they prob didnt taste it b/c of the sugars and oil).

  2. These look so good...I have bits and pieces of basil and sun-dried tomatoes from a recipe made recently. Think I'll make a half batch of these later this week. Excellent recipe!

  3. Beautiful scones! What a delicious combination.

  4. I love the savory take on the scones. Great flavour combination.

  5. I love the savoury take on the scones. Nice flavour combination with the sun dried tomatoes and basil

  6. I'm never made savoury scones, but I'd love to try these. They look so good. Thanks for posting the recipe :)

  7. They look good! And the tomato jam intrigues me. Nice recipe, Giorgia

  8. I really enjoy savory scones...great recipe :)

  9. Your savoury scones look so delicious. Love the combination of flavours.


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