I have been making version of these savoury scones for years, switching up the flavours on a whim or according to whatever ingredient is in season. My favourite incarnation of these scones though has to be ones that in some manner include wild garlic. This magical ingredient, which grows wild all across the UK which means if you want to go foraging then this recipe is for you (just be careful wild garlic looks annoyingly similar to lily of the valley which is poisonous so if your confident with distinguishing between the two it is best to find a different source). Generally I find the best place to go looking for the garlic is in damp woodland, where it often grows in abundance. The only other tip I will give you, because im no foraging expert, is that avoid the garlic that is close to the paths and walkways. As these areas are popular with dog walkers the garlic on the sides of the paths has a big risk of being contaminated and not something you want to eat. But enough with that lets talk flavour, in these scones I have paired them with cheese as is common for a savoury scone plus a little background fennel seed with a final flourish topping the scones with a liberal dusting of zataar, a lebanese herb blend that I have a particular fondness for especially alongside egg and cheese.
Wild Garlic and Zataar Savoury Scones
350g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
150g cheddar, grated (plus a little extra for topping)
6 rasher of streaky bacon, cooked until crisp and then dices
75g wild garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp fennel seeds
150ml whole milk
2 large eggs (plus extra for glazing)
zataar, for topping
To make the scones line a couple baking trays with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan).
In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. The addition of baking powder when you are already using self raising flour is simply that cheese scones can have a tendency to be on the heavy side and need a helping hand to rise and stay light. Toss the butter through the flour and then using your hands or a pastry blender rub in the flour until the butter is in irregular sized pieces, non larger than peas. Mix in the cheddar, bacon wild garlic and fennel seeds, evenly distributing the ingredients. Whisk together the milk and eggs then pour into the middle of the scone mixture, then using a butter knife mix to form a shaggy dough. Tip the dough out onto a floured worksurface and use your hands to briefly bring together to form a uniform dough. Lightly flour the worksurface and roll or press out to a thickness of about 2.5cm thick. Use a 7cm round cookie cutter cut out as many scones as possible. Gently re-knead the off cuts to cut out the last few scones. Transfer to the baking trays.
To finish lightly brush the top of the scones with a little beaten egg and sprinkle with a healthy dose of zataar and a little extra grated cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden on top. Best served still a little warm, within a couple days of baking. The scones can also be frozen once fully cooled.