Baking with Basil: Savory Basil Parmesan Scones
Last week, I got this beautiful basil bouquet from my mushroom man at the farmer's market. Isn't it gorgeous? I wish I could post a scratch 'n' sniff pic so that you could enjoy the fabulous aroma emanating from those luscious leaves. When I saw the basil, I knew immediately what I was going to make with it.
In the Spring issue of Sift, King Arthur Flour published a wonderful article on scones. I love scones! They are so simple to make. You don't even need to pull out your mixer. Most often, we think of scones as a sweet treat for breakfast, brunch or afternoon tea. But scones are not restricted to the sweet side of the baking spectrum. In fact, scones are quite capable of supplying a savory accompaniment to lunch or dinner. I was intrigued by KAF recipes for a couple of savory scones and tagged them for a future baking session. So today, I am sharing with you one of those savory scone recipes. My friends, say hello to ...
Basil Parmesan Scones!!! Admit it, you want to try these scones, don't you? And you definitely should because these basil parmesan scones are off the hook!! Okay kids, let's bake!
The recipe calls for using either fresh or dried basil. But it is summertime so use fresh basil if you can get it. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of AP flour, 1 TABLESPOON (yes, you read correctly!) baking powder, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and either 2 teaspoons dried basil or 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped. As you can see from the photo, I used quite a bit of basil and I didn't chop it too finely. I wanted to really see it in the finished scone.
Next, take 1/4 cup of cold, cold salted butter and cut it into smaller chunks. Cut the butter chunks into the flour mixture until the mixture is evenly crumbly.
For the wet ingredients you will need 2 large eggs. You need to separate one of the eggs, reserving the white to use for topping the scones before baking.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of either buttermilk or plain yogurt, 1 whole large egg plus the yolk of the second large egg. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and gently stir until the dough holds together.
Place the dough on a well floured surface and gently press it into a rectangle that is about 1/2 inch thick. Using a bench knife or dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 squares then cut the squares on a diagonal so that you end up with 12 triangular scones. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet.
Make a wash with the reserved egg white by whisking in 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the scones with the egg wash then sprinkle on more grated Parmesan cheese. These scones are ready for the oven!
Bake the scones for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated 425 degree oven. Scones are done when they are lightly golden around the edges and on top. Cool the scones on a rack for 10 minutes before serving them warm or at room temperature. WARNING! These scones will make your kitchen smell heavenly! And you won't be able to resist tasting one. Ahh, the power of basil and cheese!!
Just look at that gorgeous scone! Light, flaky and utterly delicious. The fresh basil stays brilliantly green and fragrant through the baking process. From start to finish, these basil parmesan scones were ready in 45 minutes. That's it!! That's almost instant gratification. Serve the scones with a nice bowl of garden minestrone soup, like I did, or maybe a simple pasta dish. Or just eat them by themselves. Or maybe with a nice glass of wine. Let your imagination go free. However you decide to enjoy them, please do yourself the favor of mixing up a batch of these savory basil parmesan scones.