Bluesy Bacon-Walnut Scones
--3 c. all-purpose flour
--1 T. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
--1 tsp. salt
--1 stick plus 2 T. butter, chilled and cubed, plus extra for brushing
--1 c. buttermilk
--1/2 c. walnuts, slightly toasted, cooled, and chopped
--1/4-1/2 c. crumbled bleu cheese
--4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1.) Preheat oven to 350.
2.) Whisk together all dry ingredients.
3.) Cut in cubed butter with a pastry blender or with your hands until flour mixture resembles coarse meal (this is a somewhat confusing baking term, but the idea is that you want the butter to be somewhat incorporated but still in small pieces so that during the baking process the dough becomes flaky from all the little pockets of butter that melt).
4.) Add buttermilk and egg and stir until dough barely starts to come together.
5.) Add walnuts, cheese, and bacon and knead into dough.
6.) Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured work surface. The less flour the better. Knead briefly, just until you can get the dough to come together in a ball. Flatten the ball into a thick disc, about 1-2 inches thick. This is a little subjective, though. If you like your scones flatter and with more crusty surface area, make the disc thinner. If you like them fluffier and taller, make a thick disc. Cut the disc into eight wedges and place on a baking sheet. A baking stone is ideal, as it makes them crustier and allows them to cook more evenly, but a baking sheet is fine too.
7.) Brush with melted butter.
8.) Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. If you made the scones thinner, you'll want to check on them before 30 minutes is up, but, as always, use your discretion and know your oven.
9.) Cool completely and serve solo (these scones are divas--they like lots of stage time) or with pesto cream cheese (I mixed some leftover ramp pesto with cream cheese, and it was as dank as it sounds--like I said, flavor junkie).