When one thinks of Christmas baking, one usually thinks of sweet bakes. Cinnamon, ginger, peppermint and so on. But who said it must be sweet? I have never seen a rule book. No Christmas rule-master has ever approached me to lay down the law. So today’s bake – The Third Bake Of Christmas – is of the savoury persuasion.
I initially decided to bake these because I liked the flavours. It wasn’t until after I had baked and consumed most of them that I realised how bloomin’ festive they looked. Based on a Delia recipe, the main components are red sun-dried tomatoes, green spring onions, white feta and black olives. Ok well perhaps black’s not the most festive of colours. Wait…the big man’s boots are black. Bingo. That counts, right? Where was I…erm…yes. Festive colours. These savoury scones not only fill ones house with an incredible scent as they bake, but they also taste divine. Eat warm with melted butter or a dollop of caramelised onion chutney. Oooo heaven.
I can whole-heartedly admit that I have never and will never grow tired of mince pies or any of the other sweet treats that come hand-in-hand with this time of year. I do every now and then, however, feel it necessary to delve into savoury-land to balance out the culinary universe. And what better way to balance out a universe than with a festive savoury scone. Nothing has ever been more clear. Happy baking y’all.
Pre-heat oven to 220°C
for the scones
75g feta, crumbled
10 black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
50g sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil and chopped (keep 1 tbspn of oil)
225g self-raising flour
1/4 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
2 tbspn olive oil
1 1/2 tspn fresh thyme, chopped
1 large egg
2 tbspn full-fat milk
for the top
milk for brushing
50g feta, crumbled
1/ Sift flour, baking powder, cayenne and mustard powder into a large bowl, and with a knife, work in the 2 tbspn of olive oil plus the tbspn of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.
2/ When the mixture starts to come together like lumpy breadcrumbs, add the thyme, feta, spring onion, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes.
3/ In a separate bowl, beat the egg with 2 tbspn milk, then add half to the other ingredients.
4/ Using your hands, bring the mixture together to form a dough, adding more of the egg mixture as it needs it. What you want is a soft, but not sticky, dough. You might not need all of the egg mixture.
5/ On a floured board, roll the dough to a depth of about 1 inch, then stamp out the scones using a 2 inch cutter.
6/ Put cut-out pieces on a baking tray, brush with milk, and crumble feta on top.
7/ Bake on the highest shelf in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they’ve turned golden brown in colour.