I’ll be honest. As soon as I saw this recipe over on Joy the Baker I had a deep gut-need-to-make-these reaction. And so I finally had the time, and let me tell you these things are good. Hard enough to make you feel accomplished, but definitely not too difficult for a novice cook/foodie.
I also got to roast my first pepper over an open flame. What do you say to that for kitchen adventures?
Roasted Red Pepper, Feta & Basil Skillet Scones
makes 8 servings
adapted from Simply Recipes
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 large egg, beaten
1 3/4 cup buttermilk, cold
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers*
heaping 1/2 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
*If you’re starting with fresh red bell pepper, it will need to be roasted and toasted first. Turn a gas stovetop burner on to medium heat. Place the entire pepper directly over the flame and allow to rest there until blackened and charred. Use a pair of tongs to flip the pepper so that it can be browned on all sides. Remove from the flame, cut in half (removing the top and seeds) and use a sharp knife to gently peel away the charred skin. You can leave a bit of the charred skin in tact for a rustic look and taste. Coarsely chop the pepper and set aside.
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a large (9 or 10-inch) cast iron skillet with either olive oil or vegetable shortening and set aside. Alternately you can use a greased round cake pan if your don’t have a cast iron skillet.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
Add the cold butter and, using your fingers, quickly break the butter down into the dry ingredients. Some bits of butter will be the size of small peas, others the size of oat flakes.
In a small bowl, beat together egg and buttermilk.
Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon, working to moisten every bit of flour with the buttermilk mixture. Before the mixture is entirely incorporated, add red pepper, feta cheese, and basil. Dump mixture out onto a clean work surface and gently knead together. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. The dough should be moist but still shaggy. Gather into a 1 1/2-inch thick about 8-inch round. The dough will be shaggy, that’s better than over-kneading the dough.
Transfer dough to prepared pan. Use a serrated knife to mark an inch deep X into the dough. Brush generously with buttermilk and top with cracked black peppercorns. Place in the oven and allow to bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden color and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. If you’re using a regular cake pan instead of cast iron, check the scones after 30 minutes.
Let bread rest in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Serve warm. This bread is best served straight from the oven or warm. It is best the day it is made.
The finished product! Let me know if you whip this up in your kitchen, and save a piece for me.