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RECIPE: Goat Cheese & Dill Scones with Smoked Salmon

scones

Yield 6-8 servings

Bagels. Cream cheese. Lox. Dill. Maybe a slice of tomato. These are the classic flavors most American Jews love for Sunday brunch, a post-hangover pick-me-up, and even the Yom Kippur post-fast meal.

Living in the metropolitan New York area, I know I am spoiled with good quality bagel options, but I hear from readers all over the country that, in some places, they just can’t get a good bagel. So, then what?

This scone-wich is the answer to the sub-par bagel conundrum.

If you think scones are difficult to make, they are actually one of the easiest pastry options a home baker can try. You don’t need special equipment (no mixer, no muffin pan) and the only things you need to remember are using quality ingredients and not overworking the dough. I love making scones because you can have so much fun with the flavors–pumpkin in the fall, strawberries in the spring, and I have even made peanut butter and jelly scones. So delish!

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You can use tools like a silpat baking mat and a pastry cutter, but parchment paper will work just fine, and I have used two knives in place of a pastry cutter many times with completely equal results.

These scones are just a little salty, which pairs so perfectly with cream cheese and some good quality smoked salmon. Serve this scone-wich with some slices of tomato, red onion, capers or however you like to dress up a classic bagel and lox combo.

scones

INGREDIENTS

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (make sure it is cold–leave in fridge until the last minute)

¼ cup chopped fresh dill

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1 large egg

½ cup cold buttermilk

4 oz goat cheese, slighty softened

2 Tbsp butter, melted

Thick sea salt

scones

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone silpat (baking mat).

In a medium bowl combine the egg and buttermilk. Add goat cheese; it’s OK if there are some lumps.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut cold butter into small cubes. Add butter to flour and coat the butter well using your fingers lightly. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs.

Create a well in the middle of the butter-flour mixture and add wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, but don’t overwork the dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly flour floured surface and knead the dough until it comes together but do not overwork, adding any extra pieces of flour or batter back. Fold the dough over itself a few times until you are able to form into a rectangle about ½ inch thick.

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Using a cookie cutter or a regular drinking glass, cut out circular scones. Place onto baking sheet.

Brush tops of scones with melted butter and sprinkle with thick sea salt.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until just golden brown on top.

Allow to cool slightly. Serve with softened cream cheese and good quality smoked salmon.

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