Reportedly originating in Scotland as early as the 1500s, scones are traditionally a lightly sweetened quick bread – any bread leavened with ingredients other than yeast or eggs – flavored with dried fruit and enjoyed with afternoon tea. At my bakery, Pint Size Bakery in St. Louis, we complicate the matter by adding a delicious amount of butter and creating a savory version for breakfast. As the biggest seller at the bakery, our savory scones are similar to biscuits in that we work butter into the flour to create a more flaky texture. Buttermilk then tenderizes the gluten and provides a bit of tang.
This recipe can be really versatile in flavor combinations: Think Cheddar-green onion, spinach-artichoke-Asiago, tomato-mozzarella-basil and bacon-blue cheese-caramelized onion. Made with sweet potatoes, which are in season through December, this savory scone recipe is simply the best I’ve ever had – and I hope you’ll agree.
Christy Augustin has had a lifelong love affair with all things sweet. After working as a pastry chef in New Orleans and St. Louis, she opened Pint Size Bakery & Coffee in St. Louis’ Lindenwood Park in 2012. She calls herself the baker of all things good and evil. See more at pintsizebakery.com.
Savory Sweet-Potato Scones
Note that you’ll need to roast one sweet potato prior to making these scones.
Yields | 10 scones |
- 3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring work surface
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ Tbsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ²⁄₃ cup cold, cubed unsalted butter
- ½ cup roasted sweet potato (from approximately 1 sweet potato)
- ¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1¹⁄₃ cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp whole milk or heavy cream
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
| Preparation | Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add cold butter cubes to dry mixture, and work by hand until a cornmeal consistency is achieved, with just a few pea-sized pieces. Add sweet potato, Swiss cheese and thyme, and toss, taking care to break up potato. Gently stir in buttermilk with a wooden spoon; do not overmix or thoroughly moisten dough. It should be a little dry and shaggy. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface, pat it down to about a 2-inch thickness and fold it in half. Repeat twice, alternating fold direction. Using plenty of flour, roll dough into a rectangle shape, 1-inch thick by 4½-inches wide by 14-inches long. Spread rectangle out lengthwise in front of you, and using a chef’s knife or bench scraper, cut 5 equal pieces vertically. Then, cut each vertical piece diagonally to form 2 triangles (for a total of 10 triangles across all 5 pieces). Transfer to prepared sheet tray, and freeze for at least 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a small bowl, whisk egg and whole milk together to create an egg wash.
Brush each scone with egg wash, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or more until lightly golden. If baking scones frozen for longer than 15 minutes, they might need to bake for up to 35 minutes.