I just came back from a lovely time in Napa, with delicious wine, a beautiful wedding, and fantastic food. Right outside of Napa is home to two of Thomas Keller’s most famous restaurants: French Laundry and Bouchon. While I would have loved to have visited both during my trip, reservations at both are like Christmas miracles. So I settled for the Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, right next door to the Bouchon restaurant. While of course everything was good, I have to be a slight critic and say that not everything that we got was as amazing as I had expected. However, there were two golden stars that I will never forget. The Strawberry Croissant and the Bacon Cheddar Scones. And so inspiration was born. I came home and immediately started checking to see how I could try to imitate these delicious treats on my own. While of course they are no Thomas Keller bacon and cheddar scones, I did get calls just about how tasty they are.
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) cold salted butter cut into little cubes
- 1 cup of crumbled cooked bacon (about 9 – 11 slices)
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar and jack cheese
- ¼ Cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup whole milk or buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon of water
- Pinch of salt
- Dark brown sugar for sprinkling
(1) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350º. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Cut in the butter using the pastry blender. Then add the crumbled bacon and cheese and mix until combined.
(2) Whisk one of the eggs and the buttermilk together. Add about two-thirds of the mixture to the dry ingredients. With a paddle attachment, mix the dough just until it seems like all the dry ingredients are wet. Add in the remaining buttermilk mixture until the dough comes together. Scrape the dough from the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again to incorporate any floury scraps. The majority of the dough will have come together, on the paddle. Stop mixing while there are still visible chunks of butter and floury patches.
(3) Take the dough from the bowl and place onto a lightly floured surface. Gather the dough together and gently form it into a circle about ¾ inch thick. The top won’t be smooth, but the rough surface creates a crunch that is part of a scone’s charm.
(4) Whisk the last egg, the tablespoon of water and the pinch of salt together in a small bowl. Brush the dough with the egg wash, and sprinkle with the dark brown sugar. With a small circle biscuit cutter, cut the scones and place them on the lined baking sheet about ½ inch apart. Keep pushing the dough together and cutting the dough, until you have used all the dough.
(5) Bake for 25-30 minutes. The scones should be a pale golden brown. Don’t overbake! Can be eaten warm or cold, although fresh out of the oven is always best. They also freeze well, just reheat briefly in the microwave.
Recipe Adapted from King Arthur Flour