One of my specialties and favorite creations to pull from a steaming hot oven are surely quick breads such as biscuits, scones, muffins and loaves. The aroma tantalizes the senses and stimulates the appetite. I always find the transition from summer to fall rather difficult to adapt to and turning on the oven warms the toes. The only drawback is having the patience to enjoy one until it is cool enough to eat. Generally speaking, I prefer savory to sweet. I am also a spice fanatic so it seemed natural for me to come up with a spicy savory biscuit, or scone if you prefer.
Now, I don't want to start a discussion on the confusion and controversy over what constitutes a scone versus a biscuit, nor get into what a cracker, cookie or shortbread means. A few years back Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe tried to make sense of this rather complicated culinary matter. Really, it seems to depend on the region of the world you reside in or what you were brought up to understand by learning the word attached to object placed in front of you. To make things even more confusing, here in North America the terms biscuit and scones are often used interchangeably, as are cracker and biscuit, and sometimes they are sweet and sometimes not.
But enough about that. Scone or biscuit, what really matters here is this spicy baked delight that has just enough heat to please spicy-minded palates but subtle enough for even the more timid amongst us. The cheese helps cool the masala blend and compliments the moist and flaky layered texture of the biscuit. Of course, if you are like me you may be inclined to increase the amount of spice. The possibilities are endless — a basic scone dough is a blank canvas to be explored and adorned.
Some tips: Much like muffins, over-mixing results in tough biscuits or scones. You want nice flaky biscuits that will rise. On the other hand, don't be afraid of the dough either. Biscuits that are underworked may turn out crumblier than you want and that would be … crummy! A combination of gentle kneading and folding over the dough a few times until smooth is the key to a biscuit that will be moist, flaky, and rise to perfection. For softer biscuits, place the formed dough closer together on the baking sheet. For crisper biscuits, place the rounds about an inch apart.
Of course, practice makes perfect and surely friends and family won't mind coming around to evaluate your test batches.
|Indian-Style Spicy Cheese Scones|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Published on September 19, 2012
Simple, moist and flaky cheese scones with gentle Indian spicing and heat
More spicy treats you may enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Cayenne Peanut Butter Cookies
Spicy Parmesan Crackers
Jalapeno Cheddar Scones
On the top of the reading stack: Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
Audio Accompaniment: Robert Fripp