Baking Gospel

Spent this afternoon baking about one hundred bite-or-two sized cheddar and herb scones for tomorrow’s Community Gospel Concert at Ortonville High School.

Local sculptor Doug Holtquist organized the event, and last I spoke with him, it had grown beyond all expectations–many groups have signed up to participate.  Local arts and local food groups have teamed up to help provide the “high tea” refreshments donated by individuals and companies.

The original recipe for the scones came out of Better Homes & Gardens or some such magazine–they are the first thing I remember baking on my own, and they became a family favorite.  I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit over the years–replacing 1/4 of the flour with whole wheat, using butter instead of shortening (and yeah, I bet they’d be good made with lard, too), and playing with the herb and cheese combinations.

But, here’s the standard version I use:

Cheese & Herb Scones
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp red pepper
2/3 cup butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp prepared dijon mustard
1 1/3 cup milk

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine flours, salt, baking powder, and herbs/red pepper. Cut in butter until mix resembles coarse crumbs (much quicker & easier if you do this in a food processor). Stir in 3/4 cup cheese. Add milk and mustard and mix with a fork until you have a soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5-6 times. Divide in half. Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll each half into a seven inch round. Cut into eight wedges. Place scones one inch apart on the baking sheet, pierce tops with a fork, brush with cold water, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown. They’re best served warm, but they’re good split and toasted later on. Or just gobbled up cold.

Because I was making these into bite-sized servings, I pierced the tops and brushed the water on when I rolled them out and before I cut them. I didn’t sprinkle them with more cheese, but they’re plenty cheesy nonetheless!

If you’re interested in attending the Community Gospel Concert, it’s on May 1st from 2-4pm at the Ortonville High School Auditorium in Ortonville, Minnesota, and it’s free and open to the public.  Here’s the event link on BigStoneArts.com.

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