When it comes to scones, which do you like better – sweet or savory? I love both, but for me, savory scones win out. These savory ham and cheese scones are full of cheesy, buttery goodness, studded with smoky ham, and sprinkled with sea salt. Making ham and cheese scones is my absolute favorite way to use leftover ham. I’ve made several batches of these scones recently with leftovers from the maple glazed ham I made for Easter. My family loves ham and cheese scones for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a simple dinner.
One thing I love about this recipe is that you can make scone dough ahead of time to bake just before serving. I made four batches of these scones for a huge brunch party last New Year’s Day. I made the dough the day before, cut it into wedges, and stored it in the refrigerator to bake the next morning. If you’re making the dough ahead, don’t brush the scones with cream or sprinkle with salt until just before baking.
Another option is to keep wedges of scone dough in the freezer to bake any time. Wrap individual wedges in plastic and store in the freezer. When it’s time to bake, take the dough out of the freezer, unwrap, and let it thaw a bit while the oven preheats. Bake the scones as normal. It might take a few extra minutes if the dough is chilled or frozen.
The process of making ham and cheese scones could not be simpler, and the results are absolutely worth it. No special equipment is required.
I like to start out by gathering and measuring all the ingredients ahead of time:
I do have a few ingredient tips for this recipe. Use good quality ham, cheese and butter. I used maple glazed spiral ham, Tillamook Colby Jack cheese, and Tillamook butter. You might prefer to use a stronger cheese like sharp cheddar or Gruyère. Make sure your butter and cream are cold when you add them to the recipe. This will help your scones puff more and spread less in the oven.
This recipe calls for two cups of flour. It’s important to measure flour correctly, because the amount of flour can vary depending on how packed it is into the measuring cup. You should “fluff” the flour a little to add some air, then spoon it into the measuring cup. Use the back of a knife to level the flour with the edge of the cup. If you want to learn how to measure flour correctly, this video from King Arthur Flour explains the process.
The easiest way to measure flour correctly is with a food scale, so use that if you can. There are a lot of different food scales to choose from, but this is the type of food scale I have.
Once you have all the ingredients assembled, preheat the oven, and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment. After that, it’s time to make the dough:
First, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Next, cut the cold butter into small cubes, and add these to the flour mixture. Mix so the butter cubes are coated with flour.
Smash the butter cubes with your fingers. Continue smashing and rubbing, until the butter and flour mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add the ham, grated cheese, and green onion, and mix everything together. Pour in the cream and milk. Stir until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Just mix until the dough comes together and the dry ingredients are incorporated. Don’t overmix, or your scones can become tough.
Place your dough on a floured surface and pat it into a circle that is seven inches across and about an inch thick. I have to admit I got out a ruler for this part, because I’m not good at estimating measurements! Use a large sharp knife, like a butcher knife, to cut the circle into six wedges. Arrange the wedges on the baking sheet. Leave a little space between them, because they will puff up when baked.
Brush the wedges with additional cream, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. The cream helps the scones brown, but it’s optional. You can brush the wedges with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water), or just skip this step.
Sprinkling the scones with coarse sea salt crystals is also optional, but it adds a satisfying salty crunch.
Bake the scones for about 25 minutes, until they are puffed, golden, and baked through.
These ham and cheese scones will make your day, I promise. The buttery, flaky dough is packed with flavor from savory cheese, smoky ham, and fresh scallions. I have a feeling this recipe will be a family favorite for years to come.
Ham and Cheese Scones
- 2 cups 255g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon 12g baking powder
- 2 teaspoons 8g sugar
- 4 tablespoons 55g salted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 heaping cup 200g diced cooked ham
- 1/4 cup 30g chopped scallion
- 4 oz. grated cheddar cheese 115g
- 3/4 cup 180ml heavy cream, plus additional for brushing
- 2 tablespoons 30 ml milk
- Coarse sea salt for sprinkling optional
- Place an oven rack in the lower middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
- Add the butter pieces and toss until well coated. Smash the butter pieces with your fingers, and continue smashing and rubbing until the butter-flour mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Add diced ham, scallion, and shredded cheese. Toss until well combined.
- Stir in the cream and milk to form a stiff dough.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape with hands into a 7-inch round, at least 1 inch thick. Cut into 6 wedges with a large knife.
- Arrange wedges on a baking sheet, lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Leave space between the wedges, because they will puff when baked.
- Brush wedges with additional cream. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt (optional).
- Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 minutes.
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