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Broccoli and Cheese Scones

I learned to make scones from a friend in my first year of university, and while living in Scotland, it quickly became a go-to. It takes me all of about 5 minutes to prep the dough and they bake in no time. Baking them at sea level and using self-raising flour, I would roll them out to 1.5 cm thick or so and end up with scones 5 cm high, light and warm inside, melting the clotted cream and honey. Moving back to Switzerland though, living at over 1000m above sea level and without self-raising flour, I had to add a lot of baking powder to make them rise at all, and then they tasted somewhat chemically. I tried tweaking the recipe a few times to fix the issue and then just stopped making them. Reading up on the different properties of baking soda and baking powder recently though for a refresher (good things to know when you experiment with recipes), it occurred to me that if I used something mildly acidic instead of milk, it might activate baking soda. If I could use soda instead of powder, it might fix my chemical taste problem and still allow the scones to rise. I decided to give this a try next time I had whey or buttermilk on hand, and sat on the idea. After making my ricotta for the White Lasagne though, I had about 1.5l of whey on hand - enough for scones and then some (used in the Caramel Chestnut Risotto). So I gave it a try! the broccoli and cheese are a bit of a new addition too.


2 - 2 1/4 c flour (I used a 5 grain brown flour, but use whatever you want!)

1/2 c butter, cold, diced

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 - 3/4 c whey

1 c broccoli in small florets

1 c finely grated cheese ( I used L'Etivaz, a Gruyère type cheese)

(optional: corn meal for sprinkling)

1) Lightly steam the broccoli florets and drain well.

2) Place about 1 3/4 - 2 c flour in a large mixing bowl and add the butter. Using finger tips, mix the flour into the butter until it forms crumbs.

2) Add the baking soda and 1/2 c whey, and mix well with a fork until it forms an dough. Add a little more whey or flour as necessary.

3) Mix in the cheese and broccoli, then roll out the dough on a clean floured surface to about 1.5 - 2 cm thick. Cut out rounds (size of your choice) and place on a baking tray. Optionally you can sprinkle them with corn meal at this stage.

4) Bake at 200°C for 15-20 minutes until puffed up and golden.

The verdict was that these were very tasty. They didn't puff as much as I would have liked and as I used to get in Scotland (we are still at 800m above sea level though, despite having moved out of the mountains). I don't know if the whey wasn't acidic enough or if I didn't use enough baking soda. Either way though, despite being a little lower than I would have hoped, they were not at all dense and very tasty. Also, huge bonus, they didn't taste in the least chemically. I will play with the rising agents a little further (and keep you posted!) but will certainly be making these again.

PS. They also made excellent lentil slider buns!

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