Bacon and Aged Gouda Scones
Update! Doh, I forgot that I added mustard powder to the recipe, as well. Subtle, but a nice touch.
I woke up last Saturday morning several hours later than my usual rising time with a serious hunger. Unfortunately, we had no bread in the house, and I don’t consider breakfast at all satisfying without bread. So I turned to Mr. X and asked, “Should I bake English muffins or scones for breakfast?” And he did the only thing he could do: He laughed at me. My Saturday morning proposal pretty much encapsulates me at my most ridiculous: Rather than settling for a sub-par breakfast, I will gladly satiate my hunger pangs temporarily with a small handful of chips while I embark on an elaborate cooking project.
As you can see, I decided on the scones. And these aren’t just any scones. These are light, flaky scones made with thick cut bacon and aged Gouda cheese. And they were totally worth the wait.
I bookmarked quite a few recipes for savory scones over the past few years, and made a less-than-perfect attempt a few years ago with Sun-dried Tomato Scones. I have a sort of irrational disinterest in sweets in the morning that I am only very slowly overcoming, so the notion of bacon for breakfast is far more appealing to me than jam or maple syrup, or sweet scones. These scones absolutely did not disappoint. They do contain just the slightest bit of scone-y sweetness, which I might dial back a bit in the future, but which does make them pretty quintessential scones.
I adapted this recipe from the King Arthur Flour blog, and I have to admit that the scallions or chives suggested by King Arthur would have made these even better, if I’d had them on hand. I might also have to try them in the future with a more melty cheese like the cheddar in the original recipe, but the aged Gouda lent a wonderful salty, complex flavor that should not be written off so quickly.
The recipes says this makes eight large scones, but even though I actually measured the dough to ensure it was rolled out to a 7-inch circle, it only made six scones, three large and three a bit smaller. Which was just perfect to have one each for breakfast, give two to our afternoon guests, and keep two more for breakfast at a later date.
Bacon and Aged Gouda Scones
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (you could also do 2 cups all-purpose flour, if you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar (or 1, if you want a touch less sweetness
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
- 4 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into pieces
- about 1 cup aged Gouda, chopped into small pieces
- 3/4 cup whole milk, plus extra for brushing on top
Heat the oven to 425F. Lay the bacon pieces out on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the bacon is just beginning to crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and mustard. Use a fork or a pastry blender (or a food processor, or your hands) to cut in the butter. You want to break the butter pieces up into the flour. I find what works well is to use the pastry blender at first, then get in with my hands and rub the butter and flour together between my fingers until it forms a course mixture.
Cut the bacon slices into small pieces, then stir the bacon and cheese into the flour mixture. Slowly stir in the milk until the dough begins to come together, adding a little more if necessary to form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pat it and roll it down into a 7-inch diameter round. Cut the round into six or eight slices, and pull them apart just a bit on the baking sheet. Brush the remaining milk over the dough to help the scones brown on top.
Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they are browned and cooked through. Let them cool on a wire rack before serving. You can store the leftovers in Ziploc bags in a pantry, but if you really want to prepare ahead, only bake one or two at first, and freeze the rest on a baking sheet. Once they’re frozen, you can store them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer and bake them one at a time, whenever you want a scone on the quick. Would have been nice last Saturday morning, let me tell you.