The sun is shining!! And it’s presently 64 degrees outside! So I guess it’s time for me to come out of hibernation, at least for a few days until winter returns. I’ve been longing to send some yummy food ideas out to you all, but life. When it snows and temperatures hit 0 degrees and kids don’t have a full day of school for at least a week, my productivity for things beyond normal life/work is out the window. And I may have said “yes” to a few too many extra things. Baking for teachers, students, neighbors, co-workers, my kid’s birthday, an event at my church this weekend… they’re all a delight for me. But sometimes I don’t put them all together to see the big picture that it’s too much at once. Thus my silence here.
I decided I owe you something truly amazing and worth the wait. Enter Bacon Cheddar Scones. What more needs to be said? Really nothing. I made two batches of these. One went in to school for a teacher appreciation breakfast and to bless some co-workers. Before packing them up for the co-workers, I couldn’t resist taking a bite to try. I turned to Ryan and declared, “these are really good.” He then confessed that he already knew that. He had stolen one when he delivered them to the elementary school. This seems to be becoming a trend.
A few weeks prior to making these scones, I made bacon cheddar biscuits that were kind of bleh. When I saw these in the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, I knew I had to try them. And can we talk about that cookbook? It’s so beautiful. Our library doesn’t have it, so I have to request it from another county. Even the librarian commented about how beautiful the book alone is. I stumbled upon it again at a Barnes and Noble when I had some time to spare waiting to pickup our oldest a few weeks ago. And these Bacon Cheddar Scones were the treasure I found.
Many (maybe all?) of Thomas Keller’s recipes in this book are measured by weight. He also includes the equivalent in standard US measuring. When baking, often ingredients are weighed because it is more accurate. For instance, my 1-cup of flour can vary widely in weight based on whether I sift it, spoon it into my measuring cup, or just scoop my measuring cup into the canister. One perk of weighing ingredients is that you have less to clean up! I just place my mixer bowl on the scale and zero it out before I add each new ingredient.
So, best part for my fellow night-owls/morning averse – you have to make these the night before and freeze them!! Set the oven to turn itself on in the morning, sleepily finish the final steps, and pop them in the oven to bake while you get yourself/kids ready.
Bacon Cheddar Scones
- 107 grams all-purpose flour (3/4 cup + 1 tsp)
- 196 grams cake flour (1 1/2 cups + 1/2 tbsp)
- 8.1 grams baking powder (1 1/2 + 1/8 tsp)
- 1.6 grams baking soda (3/8 tsp)
- 27 grams granulated sugar (2 tbsp + 3/4 tsp)
- 3.6 grams kosher salt (1 1/4 tsp)
- 132 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (9 1/3 tbsp)
- 71 grams heavy cream, plus more for brushing (1/4 cup + 1 tbsp)
- 89 grams crème fraîche (1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp)
- 340 grams Applewood-smoked bacon, cooked, drained, and cut into 1/8-inch pieces (77 grams cooked weight) (12 ounces)
- 144 + 36 grams white cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups, plus 1/2 cup)
- 10 grams minced fresh chives (1/4 cup)
- freshly ground black pepper
Place the all-purpose flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Sift in the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar and mix on the lowest setting for about 15 seconds to combine. Add the salt and mix to combine. Stop the mixer, add the butter, and on the lowest setting (to keep the flour from flying out of the bowl), pulse to begin incorporating th butter. Increase the speed to low and mix for about 3 minutes to break up the butter and incorporate it into the dry mixture. If any large pieces of butter remain, stop the mixer, break them up by hand, and mix until just incorporated.
With the mixer running, slowly pour in the cream. Add the crème fraîche and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough comes together around the paddle. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and paddle, and pulse again to combine. Add the bacon, the 144 grams (2 cups) cheese, and the chives, and pulse to incorporate.
Mound the dough on a work surface (I used a silicone mat) and, using the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper, push it together. Place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap (I used waxed paper instead) and, using your hands or a rolling pin, press it into a 7-by-9-inch block, smoothing the top. Press the sides of your hands against the sides of the dough to straighten them. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap (or bee’s wrap) and refrigerate for about 2 hours, until firm.
Line a sheet pan with a Silpat or parchment paper. Cut the block of dough lengthwise in half, and then cut each half crosswise into 6 rectangles (70 grams each). Arrange them on the prepared sheet pan, leaving space between them. Cover with plastic (or bee’s) wrap and freeze until frozen solid, at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. (The scones can remain in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
Preheat the oven to 325°F (convection oven) or 350°F (standard). Line a sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper (I just kept my scones on the same one they were on in the freezer.)
Arrange the frozen scones 1 inch apart on the sheet pan. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with remaining 36 grams (1/2 cup) cheese and black pepper. Bake for 24-27 minutes in a convection oven, 33-36 minutes in a standard oven, until golden brown. Set the sheet on a cooling rack and cool completely.
The scones are best the day they are baked, but they can be stored in a covered container for 1 day.
Source: Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller