Scones are homely, versatile and super quick to make. Savoury or sweet there all delicious and recently made these za’atar scones for our cookbook book club. This time around when making them for the family, added some of my oven dried tomatoes. We love anything za’atar in our household and it’s worth shopping around to find the freshest za’atar mix available. If you’er not familiar with za’atar, it’s both a single herb (member of oregano family) and a blend. Usually the za’atar is mixed with sesame seeds, salt and sometimes sumac. And, it’s also delicious when brushed over this aubergine cheesecake.
Halved the quantity of the original recipe as I didn’t want to make so many large scones. Also, cut down on the salt (2 tablespoons) and reduced it to 1/2 teaspoon with my quantities. Before incorporating the butter, placed the butter into the freezer for about ten minutes. Using the large blade of a grater, grated the ice-cold butter into the flour mixture, stopping two or three times to mix into the flour, so the butter didn’t end up in a big clump. Easier and faster than trying to rub in all those little cubes of butter. Well, at least for me it was. Rather than cut the dough into large wedges, used a small 2 inch/5cm metal scone cutter. Brushed over the tops of the unbaked scones with milk instead of egg and sprinkled a little extra za’atar on top.
Delicious when served warm from the oven for breakfast with scrambled eggs or split in half and slathered with labneh cheese. We also enjoyed them with a warming bowl of butternut squash soup, the weather is so cold at the moment. And, if za’atar is not your thing, you might like to try these feta cheese, dried tomato and thyme scones.
Recipe adapted from the cookbook “Palestine on a Plate” by Joudie Kalla.
350g plain or all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
125g cold salted butter, cut into cubes or grated (see note above)
3 heaped tablespoons za’atar
250ml laban or buttermilk
50g oven dried tomatoes (optional), finely chopped
1 tablespoon milk, to glaze
extra za’atar, for sprinkling
You will need a 2inch/5cm round metal scone cutter.
How to make:
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/180°C Fan Oven/Gas Mark 6.
Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and using your finger tips, rub into the flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the za,tar and stir in. Pour in the laban or buttermilk, add dried tomatoes. Mix to combine, bringing the mixture together in a ball with your hands.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough lightly and pat or roll out into a 2cm thick round. Stamp out rounds using a 2inch/5cm scone cutter. Place cut scones onto a baking tray. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with milk and sprinkle extra za’tar on top. Bake for about 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.