How to Make Every Kind of Savory Scone with One Simple Recipe
Scones tend to be thought of as a sweet treat for an afternoon tea. But this simple bake lends itself easily to savory flavors and can be endlessly adapted to be the ideal companion to a salad, soup, stew, or in place of dinner rolls. And the best part? They are much less fussy than usual scone recipes! Because savory scones are made with heavy cream instead of butter, they come together in a flash.
One easy recipe for every kind of savory scone
This basic recipe, which you can adapt in all kinds of delicious ways, is easily doubled, or even tripled. They are a "drop" style scone, with the batter dropped on a sheet pan with a spoon, measuring cup or a scoop, so you can make them as large or small as you like. I usually use a portion scoop to keep them even, with a large scoop size for most uses, but a small one if I want them for canapes. The dough can be made in advance and stored in the fridge so that you can scoop and bake right before serving. Note that there's a small amount of sugar in these: It helps with browning, but you won't taste it!
Basic scone batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar (increase to ¼-⅓ cup if you want to convert to a sweet scone)
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
10-12 ounces of heavy whipping cream, plus more for brushing
You can just add one flavor, like olive or walnut, or you can use these in combination (bacon/Gruyère/chive or Parmesan/sundried tomato for example). Don't go overboard with mix-ins, though: You want their flavor and texture, but too many additions will make the scones fall apart. If using multiple mix-ins, err on the side of smaller amounts.
⅓-¾ cup grated cheese (use less for an intense cheese like Parmesan, more for a cheese like cheddar or Gruyère)
¼-½ cup cooked bacon; cured meat like salami, prosciutto, or olives; caramelized onion; smoked fish; toasted chopped nuts; dried fruit; or sundried tomato
¼ cup chopped fresh herbs
1 tablespoon dried herbs
1 teaspoon spices
1. Heat your oven to 400° and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Stir in your chosen mix-ins. Add about 1 cup of the cream and stir gently with a fork until it starts to combine, then add another ¼ cup once the mixture has some large curds but still some dry spots. If the dough seems too dry after the second addition, add more cream about a tablespoon at a time until you get a mix that is soft and can be brought together without cracking or crumbling apart.
3. Using a scooper, spoon, or measuring cup, drop portions of your dough onto your sheet pan, leaving 1 ½ inches around on all sides. If you want to cut shapes, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently pat into a round about 1 inch thick, and cut with a floured knife or a floured cutter.
4. Once all the scones are on your pan, brush the tops lightly with more cream, and if you like, sprinkle the tops with something fun like flaky sea salt, sesame seeds, flaked almonds, or Everything Bagel Spice mix.
5. Depending on your chosen size, bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a rack.