The Art of the Perfect Cheese Scone by Rox


My daughter was home at the weekend and made these wonderful scones for us.  She’s been perfecting them for a while in the tea shop she runs – Cream Tea – next to the Theatre Royal in Brighton (plug, plug) and the discoveries she’s made vis-a-vis the perfect scone recipe blew all my ideas about the process out of the window.  I watched her make them and ate the results so I can personally vouch for her method. They were utterly divine.


1lb self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

4 oz salted butter

4 oz grated strong hard cheese (parmesan is good)  plus extra for the tops

1 tsp each salt & black pepper

1 tbsp English mustard

1/2 pint milk

1 egg yolk combined with a little milk for brushing


Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Cut the butter into 1 cm cubes and rub it into the flour using only your fingertips, scooping up from the bottom of the bowl. On no account are you to squish it between your palms! Add the salt, pepper and cheese and stir to combine. Next whisk the mustard into the milk and then add to the flour and cheese mixture until it is all incorporated. Now, comes the smooshing part. “Smooshing” you ask? Yes, smooshing. You gather the dough all in at the sides and smoosh it up and together. Then you smoosh it down – see photos 2 and 3. (Rox has inherited my tendency to make up ‘technical’ terms). This kneading of the dough was one part I found surprising as I’d always been led to believe that the less you handled scone dough, the better. When the dough is smooth and ‘dry’, i.e it does not stick to your hands at all its ready to roll and cut out. You’re looking for a thickness of a good inch. Choose your own cutter size to suit your needs. This will dictate how many scones you get from your batch of dough. With any left over dough you can make yourself a little twist – see photo 5, above – a treat for the cook. Brush the tops with the egg yolk and milk mixture and then scatter on your extra cheese. Then, the second surprising part – to me at least – you leave them to rest for 15-20 mins. Contrary to this I’d always thought you had to get scones into the oven pronto but as I said, this  method definitely works so hats off to Rox.

Bake at gas mark 5 for 15-20 mins. Check them at 15 mins and keep a close eye on them, they can go from golden and delicious to burnt in a very short space of time.  They are best eaten hot, but as the people in my office can confirm, they’re not bad cold either.


Filed under Recipes

14 responses to “The Art of the Perfect Cheese Scone by Rox

  1. it is rather embarrassing that my cheese scone achievements are placed next to a four year old cooking live lobster!

  2. lourolls


    I just made these and they are superb! Although you may be a little outraged to hear that I put all the dry ingredients into my food processor, then mixed it with the butter ;0) Then I added the milk and cheese, took it out and “smooshed” it as you suggested. I also left them for 15 mins before popping them in the oven….they are fabulous!

  3. claire sullivan

    Without a doubt the most perfect cheese scone recipe. I make cheese scones and they tend to be bland. Adding the mustard and pepper really draws out the cheese flavour. I also used a strenght 5 vintage cheddar. I found the trick is not to make the dough too wet and sticky. Then egg wash, top with cheese and pop in the fridge for 15 mins. Then pop on the oven to 245degrees. Once ready pop the sco es in and reduce the heat to 220 degrees.

    I alsi added pepper and mustard to the egg wash.

    The mixture made me 8 good size scones. They fluff up really really well. I could easily use a much smaller cutter and get 16 scones from it. (bug I like big ones so great).

    I also used it minus the savoury ingredients, plus 75grams sugar and 10)grams sultanas for sweet scones. i egg washed and topped with soft brown sugar Totally yum!!

    Thank you for sharing. They saved my bacon!

  4. I was bored of using Paul Hollywood’s recipe so I tried this one and the results were so much better. Thank you.
    One thing I had to do though is add a touch more flour when it came to the dough-kneeding stage. This is probably cos I manage to throw flour everywhere from the start! Oh, and next time I’ll use a bit more mustard so they’re more to my taste.
    Excellent simple recipe.

  5. Very descriptive article, I liked that a lot. Will there be a
    part 2?

  6. Debbie

    Just made these scones and please tell Rox they were fantastic I live in Scotland but if I am ever in Brighton will call in for the real deal xx

  7. If I’m allergic to mustard can I leave it out, my mum loves your recipe

  8. Lesley Ross

    Jo and Rox the scones were absolutely delicious and very light. This is a recipe I will now keep. Thanks Lesley

  9. Holli Wiggins

    THE best scones we’ve ever made!! The recipe is easy to follow and the result is delicious, we use this one time and time again.

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