Tag Archives: rosemary

Leek and Rosemary Scones

26 Feb


From my house, you can walk to a place to get seasonal handmade pie, two places to get Japanese noodles, a place that makes their own coconut milk to mix into delicious curries, and a place that makes cecina (also called farinata, cecina is a crepe-like flatbread made of chickpea flour) in an enormous wood-fired oven. This summer, there will also be a place to get delicious French pastries and a place to get small batch ice cream. What there will not be, and what there is not now, is a place to get a scone.



Perhaps due to the proliferation of coffee places that serve the type of scones that are more closely related to a slice of cake or a doughnut, there isn’t a lot of represented variety in the scone world. Most scones encountered these days are sugary, glaze-covered, or chocolate-studded, and while I certainly have no problem with a good selection of sweets being offered, it would be nice to come across the occasional savory scone. Logic leads me to believe that, this being America, the biscuit is most likely the main culprit in the obsolescence of the savory scone, but, me being me, that doesn’t mean I am going to rest easy with that knowledge.




So, if you are like me, and you are interested in delving a bit deeper into the world of the non-sugary scone, might I suggest you give this delightful leek and rosemary version a try? Flaky and buttery, it’s a welcome addition to a cup of coffee or tea, and it plays very well with the warm and cozy attributes of a bowl of soup. Come to think of it, these scones, so very savory and toothsome, go great with a big, crunchy salad as well, lending a balance of heartiness to the crisp lightness of a big plate of greens. Oh, greens! You could split one of these in half and pile it high with sautéed greens—chard, collard greens, kale, what have you—making yourself a sort of hybrid sandwich that goes a long way towards making a case for the presence of the savory scone. I could keep going with this case for scones, but I think I’ve made good headway so far. How long before a shop offering savory scones pops up near my house? I have no idea. But, so long as my kitchen and I keep up the pace, I don’t anticipate we’ll be needing the services of such a shop.



Last Year: Marinated Goat Cheese and Savory Olive Oil and Walnut Sables–these go great together!

Another Savory Scone: Cheddar, Apple, and Poppy Seed Scones 

Leek and Rosemary Scones

4 medium leeks, white parts only

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

2 sticks (1 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 ½ cups buttermilk or soured milk

Rinse leeks thoroughly, then slice in half lengthwise. Slice each half into thin half moons. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add leeks, then sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the leeks begin to soften. Reduce heat to low, cover leeks, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the leeks from sticking to the pan. When the leeks are touched with crisp brown edges, uncover the pan, stir for a minute or so over low heat to allow the leeks to crisp up a bit more, then remove leeks to a plate to cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, rosemary, and lemon zest. Whisk to combine. Add the cold butter chunks and, using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few large pea-sized butter bits strewn throughout. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, carefully stir in the buttermilk until the dough appears quite shaggy and just begins to hold together. Fold in the cooled leeks.

Turned the dough out onto a floured surface. Carefully pat the dough into a long rectangle about 18 inches long and roughly 1 ½-inches thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 triangles.

Place the dough triangles on the prepared baking sheet. You might need to partake in a bit of creative arranging in order to make all 12 triangles fit on the baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops of the scones have turned dark golden brown. Remove scones to a wire rack to cool slightly, then serve while still warm.

Makes 12 scones.

Simple Rosemary Focaccia

4 Mar

Like many people, I used to approach bread baking with a slight sense of fear and confusion.  On the rare occasion that I attempted a simple yeasted dough for something relatively non-threatening (we’re talking pizza dough here, and not, say brioche or pane pugliese), I was never satisfied with the results of the dough’s rise (everything always seemed to turn out rather squat and tough), and was therefore convinced that I was just not equipped with the proper set of skills or instincts with which most bread bakers seemed to have been born.  Was my kneading technique not the right mix of gentle-yet-firm?  Was my kitchen too cold to coax out the dough’s full rise?  Did I need to go out and buy a baking stone?  Did I add too much salt?  Not enough?

As it turned out, the problem with my efforts was attributable not to a lack of technique or savvy, but rather to a lack of something even less instinctual: urgency.  On every single one of my yeasted dough escapades, I was working with envelopes of yeast that had been purchased several months, sometimes even a year, previous, always while in the midst of a brief burst of bread baking confidence.  Predictably, it always took me much longer than I had originally anticipated work up the gumption to attempt another yeasted recipe, so by the time I broke open the package of yeast, it was barely clinging on to life.  Even under the best of circumstances, old and lifeless yeast is never going to bring an effervescent lift to dough, so, unbeknownst to me at the time, I was basically starting my task like Sisyphus in a boulangerie.

So if you have a fear or dark anticipation of bread baking, might I offer you two bits of advice?  The first bit of advice will be fairly obvious: throw away your old envelopes of yeast right now and make a fresh start by buying brand new yeast that is still full of bubbling life.  The second bit of advice?  Make this dead simple focaccia.

A perfect gateway recipe for first-time bread bakers, this focaccia requires no kneading, no special tools, and calls for just a handful of simple ingredients.  Crisp, but with a light and toothsome chew, it’s simple to prepare, boasts an effortless rise, and bakes perfectly in mere minutes.


Chances are, you’ve already got most of the ingredients in your house right now, and if you don’t, no worries.  If you have to go to the store to buy some yeast, at least you’ll know it’s still fresh.

Rosemary Focaccia

From Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible

3/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup room temperature or warm water

4 teaspoons olive oil

1 scant tablespoon fresh rosemary needles

1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped

flaky sea salt

black pepper

Mix the dough: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, and sugar.  Then whisk in the salt (this keeps the yeast from coming into direct contact with the salt, which would kill it).  Make a well in the center and pour in the water.  Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, gradually stir the flour into the water until all the flour is moistened and a dough just begins to form, about 20 seconds.  It should come away from the bowl but still stick to it a little, and be a little rough looking, not silky smooth.  Do not overmix, as this will cause the dough to become stickier.

Let the dough rise: Pour the oil into a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup.  With oiled fingers or an oiled spatula, place the dough in the bowl or cup and turn it over to coat on all sides with the oil.  Cover it tightly and allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F 30 minutes before baking: Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place baking stone or heavy baking sheet on it before preheating.

Shape the focaccia and let it rise: With oiled fingers, lift the dough out of the bowl or cup.  Holding the dough in one hand, pour a little of the oil left in the bowl or cup onto a baking sheet and spread it all over the sheet with your fingers.  Set the dough on top and press it down with your fingers to deflate it gently.  Shape it into a smooth round by tucking under the edges.  If there are any holes, knead very lightly until smooth.  Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, covered, to relax it.

Using your fingertips, press the dough from the center to the outer edge to stretch it into a rectangle about 9 inches by 6 inches and 1/4 inch high.  If the dough resists, cover it with plastic wrap and continue pressing on it with your fingers.  Brush the top of the dough with any oil remaining in the bowl or measuring cup and cover it with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise for 20-30 minutes more, or until light and spongy looking.

Bake the focaccia: Using your fingertips, press deep dimples at 1-inch intervals all over the dough.  Sprinkle it with the rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Place baking sheet with the focaccia on the preheated hot stone or hot baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, slide a pancake turner underneath the dough to loosen it, and slip it directly onto the stone or heavy baking sheet (this means you will be removing the oiled baking sheet upon which the focaccia spent the first 5 minutes baking).  Continue baking for another 5 minutes or until the top begins to brown around the edges.

%d bloggers like this: