My Italian scones – cheesy name, cheesy goodness – are like the lovechild of a pizza and a scone, containing all the comforting flavours we know and love. I often throw together soda bread or plain scones when I’ve got last minute plans for a pasta supper (and no garlic bread to hand). One day, I decided to try out some cheese scones. I had half a jar of sun-dried tomatoes tomatoes remaining in the fridge and decided they’d be a nice addition. And what better than a smattering of basil? The result was this nobbly-looking number – a bit too wholesome (not to mention easy to make) to be classified as a guilty pleasure, but it really is. It is quite lovely still warm from the oven, when the cheese is still soft and gooey.
125ml milk, with 1 tbsp lemon juice stirred in (or use 140mls buttermilk.)
100g wholemeal flour*
100g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt & pepper
Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1 tsp dried basil
75g grated cheese (I use a mix of cheddar and mozzarella)
75g chopped sun-dried tomatoes, still coated in oil
*If you don’t have wholemeal, you can just use 200g of regular self raising flour.
Preheat the oven to 220c / 450f / gas mark 7
Firstly, stir the lemon juice into the milk in a jug and set aside for ten minutes.
Lightly beat the egg in a dish and remove 1 tablespoon of it (Set aside for glazing the scones later).
In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, salt and pepper and basil.
Add half the milk/buttermilk and lightly combine. Mix in the cheese.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes. Pour in the remaining milk/buttermilk and the egg. Stir well until it all comes together to a soft, rather sticky mixture.
Tip the mixture on to a lightly floured surface and bring it together with your hands to form a ball.
Add a little flour if necessary but do not use too much as it will affect the structure. Pat the ball into a disc about 1″ thick and use a dough scraper or a blunt knife to press through the dough, dividing it into six even wedges.
Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush with the reserved egg.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes until a deep golden brown. Best served still warm from the oven (just allow to cool for 10 minutes or so.)