Level up brunch or dinner with these easy cheese and chive scones. Packed with shredded cheddar, infused with a fresh, mild onion flavor, and ready in 30 minutes, you'll love this fast and flavorful savory scone recipe.
What makes this cheese and chive scone recipe so easy and fast?
- You only need one bowl.
- You can skip the kneading. Just mix and shape the dough.
- You save time and don't have to cut out and shape the scones.
- They take just 15 minutes to bake.
Yeah, that means you can have some fantastic fresh savory scones as part of your brunch or dinner in 30 minutes or less, including the time it takes to wash one bowl.
If savory scones aren't your thing, check out my recipe for blackberry and thyme scones. But if you are a chive fan, you may want to try my mustard-crusted salmon with chives or maybe this green pea pasta. There's a reason I love my backyard perennial chive patch.
Clearly, cheddar and chives are what make these scones unique. But what also makes them special is good quality flour. While testing this recipe, I enjoyed making my scones with Maine Grains' organic all purpose sifted wheat flour. I like the flavor of this flour because it's lighter than typical wheat flour yet more flavorful than most standard all purpose flours. By sifting, they remove some of the bran yet leave a large part of the kernel, nutritious germ, and oils of the flour.
Maine Grains manufactures locally grown, traditional stone-milled grains. Their grains are fresh, flavorful, and full of nutrients. Located in a repurposed jailhouse in Skowhegan, they're doing great work leading re-localization efforts on grain production and milling. Although I'm in Vermont, I can find several of their flours at my local Hannaford supermarket.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder and baking soda to help the scones rise.
- Kosher salt and black pepper for flavor and seasoning. I really like the hint of pepper you get in every bite.
- Unsalted butter is a must. You can't have scones without butter and I think it's always better to add your own salt instead of buying salted butter.
- Cheddar cheese will melt beautifully into the scones as they bake. We all know cheese makes everything better. I love Cabot's Vermont Sharp shredded cheddar cheese.
- Fresh chives add all the character and mild onion flavor that make these scones tasty.
- Buttermilk helps keep the dough soft and adds a little tang. No buttermilk? No problem. Use your preferred milk with a teaspoon of vinegar and sit for 5 minutes.
- An egg to brush the tops of the scones and create a nice golden brown color
See the recipe card below for specific measurements.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and put a pizza stone or pan on a rack in the middle of the oven to heat. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Cut the cold butter into small cubes.
Use your hands to gently work the butter into the dry ingredients until you have coarse crumbs and the texture of sand.
Stir in the buttermilk and cheese.
Finely chop the chives and add them to the cheese scone dough. Use your hands to incorporate and work the dough until it comes together.
Dump the dough onto a piece of parchment and continue to press it together and shape it into a disk. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle with additional flour.
Cut the dough into 8 wedges, then brush with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, if you like.
Transfer the parchment with dough to the preheated oven, and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and a tester knife comes out dry.
Note: Preheating your stone or pan in the oven helps to speed up the recipe and also adds extra crunch to the bottom of the scones. All you have to do is transfer the parchment you shaped the scones on to the oven, which means less time cleaning up the counter, too.
📖Substitutions & Variations
There are so many ways you can mix up this easy cheese scone recipe.
- Try cheese and herb scones by swapping out the chives for fresh herbs, using about ½ as much. Try rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, or parsley.
- Make them whole wheat scones by using 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour and ½ cup all-purpose flour. You may need to add slightly more liquid to compensate.
- Vary the cheese and experiment with other kinds, such as parmesan, gouda, or colby.
I'm not going to lie, these cheese and chive scones are really at their best right out of the oven. Ok, maybe give them 5 minutes to cool. When still warm, they're perfect.
But if you'd like to save them for another day, store them at room temperature for up to two days and toast them before eating. Alternatively, cooled and well-wrapped, you can store them in the freezer for up to a couple of months and defrost and heat as needed.
The key to a light, rather than dense, scone is to not overwork the dough. That's why I suggest using your hands to work the dough together, only mixing as much as needed to combine the ingredients, and simply pressing the dough together.
Another important tip is to use cold butter. Cold butter that melts in the oven as the scones bake, creates little pockets of air and more flaky, tenderness. And the less you work the dough, the more that butter will stay cold until baking.
When you make scones with buttermilk and also include baking soda, as in this recipe, the two ingredients have a chemical reaction that helps the scones to rise during the baking process. Cream would not work the same because it's not acidic.
Work the dough as little as possible. When you knead and work the dough, you're developing the gluten. Scones only need the briefest of working to form together and they're more crumbly and airy in nature, unlike most breads.
Scone dough should be soft and closer to the wet side than dry. If too dry, the scones will be dense and won't rise. So be careful not to add too much flour when you shape the dough.
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