Every third Thursday of the month, I participate in a Kickstarted cheese club here in Portland. It works like this. When that month’s cheese is announced on Kickstarter, you buy a ticket to the cheese party or a ticket plus a pound of cheese. If the Kickstarter gets funded, the restaurant owner and cheesemonger, Sasha, buys the whole wheel of cheese, and puts on a pick-up party for everyone involved. If it doesn’t get funded, Sasha tries again next month. (It has never failed to get funded.)
At the pick-up party, Sasha explains what the cheese is all about, the cheese is usually prepared into a delicious recipe for you to try, you get your pound to take home (if you paid for that Kickstarter level), and you vote on next month’s cheese.
Every single cheese that has come out of this cheese club has been completely mindblowing; these are top quality cheese from all over the world. I think my favorite was Harbison– a brie-like cheese with a very creamy texture, aged in pine bark– but Brian seemed to prefer the Burrata.
Anyway, Last month’s cheese was a French Comté, which we decided to use for herb-cheese scones. The recipe is adapted from a similar one that Sasha emailed out many months ago for a tea-rubbed cheese called TeaHive, but it goes well with any grate-able, sharp cheese. An English Cheddar (the cheese for the month before last) would probably have gone very well with this recipe. We are hoping a Dutch gouda (this month’s cheese) will do well with it too, since we have company coming and would love to share these amazing scones.
2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (2 oz) cold butter, cut up into small chunks
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk
5 oz sharp cheese of choice, grated
1 teaspoon each of basil, dill, and/or other herb*
*I found that 1 teaspoon or so each of basil and dill worked well with the comté, but depending on your taste preferences and your cheese, you may want to pick different herbs. I recommend slicing off a thin piece of the cheese and trying it with a small pinch of each herb to find the perfect combination. Once you find the herb(s) you want, mix them in with the dough mixture (see below) until it is lightly speckled with the herbs. You may want to use a little less or a little more than the amount I listed, because you don’t want your herbs to overpower the flavour of the cheese — as always, your taste is your best tool!
To make the dough, combine 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Put the butter chunks in and mash with your fingers until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Then mix in the sugar and cheese.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 1/2 cup of milk. Pour most of the mixture into the dough, setting aside just a little for the glaze if desired. Knead the dough with your hands into a rough ball. The dough will seem dry and shaggy, and may take a moment to come together. If needed, add a little bit more of the egg/milk mixture. Once it sticks together, turn the dough out onto a board and knead 10 or so times, just enough to get it to stick together without overworking it.
Flatten out the dough into a round about 2 inches thick. Cut it up into 8 wedges. Place the wedges onto an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the wedges with the reserved egg/milk mixture, or if you used up all of the mixture in the dough, whisk together 1 egg for some glaze, if desired.
Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.
That’s it! Super easy, and very tasty. They can be frozen for later consumption or otherwise held in a covered dish at room temperature for a couple of days. Enjoy!
Note: To give credit where it’s due, I want to say that this recipe was adapted from a recipe sent out by Sasha Davies of Cyril’s Cheese Club, and was written by Laura Birsham for TeaHive cheese scones. However, Ms. Birsham adapted that recipe from a recipe by Molly Wizenberg, which may or may not have involved cheese. Anyway, scones are great!