Scones are a perfect vehicle for sweet or savory mix-ins. Two of our favorites are Bacon, Cheddar, Scallion Scones and Cranberry, Orange, Dark Chocolate Scones. Both of these have the same basic ingredients. The dough for both of these can be made, formed, and frozen ahead of time. Both of these can be baked fresh at any time, and — glory be — both actually benefit from being frozen.
How can this be? Let’s talk about the structure of a scone for a moment. Scones are much like biscuits in that fat is cut into flour that has leavening in such a way that little pockets of fat remain when the dough is fully formed. The colder that fat is, the longer it takes to melt once it hits the hot oven. The longer it takes to melt, the more tender and flaky the final scone becomes. Thus, scones baked from frozen dough (when they are frozen properly) are more tender and flaky than their freshly baked counterparts.
I so look forward to spending Thanksgiving giving thanks for warm, toasty scones and the company of people who I have loved for years.
Freeze and Bake Scones
Bacon, Cheddar, Scallion Scones
4 c. (1 lb. 1 oz., by weight) all-purpose flour (preferably King Arthur all-purpose or Galahad flour.)
2 t. salt
2 T. baking powder
4 t. sugar
8 T. (a stick of butter or 4 oz. by weight), very cold and cut into 1/4-inch cubes, divided
1 1/2 c. finely diced cheddar cheese
1/2 c. finely minced scallion tops (green onions)
1 lb. of bacon, cooked ‘til crispy, then cooled and crumbled or chopped
1 1/2 c. heavy cream or half and half plus 1/4 c. (plus more, if needed, to make a cohesive dough.)
Additional cream for brushing prior to baking
Cranberry, Orange, Dark Chocolate Scones
4 c. (1 pound 1 ounce, by weight) all-purpose flour (preferably King Arthur all-purpose or Galahad flour.)