Scones with cheese and garlic
Yields approximately 15
300 gm All-Purpose flour (sieved then weighed)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sodium bicarbonate
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp parsley (or) mint (or) chives (finely chopped)
200 ml fermented milk (rayeb; at room temperature)
50 gm Parmesan cheese (grated), or any other firm cheese
Herbal cream cheese, or plain (shaped into tiny balls or squares)
130gm butter (chilled, cubed)
Tiny pinch of salt
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together and add butter. With your fingertips, start kneading butter to integrate into all ingredients and mix well to incorporate. Gradually add fermented milk; while mixing by hand until mixture is sticky; yet not much. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes; during which time, batter would turn to be non - sticky. Preheat oven to 180-200 degrees Celsius. Dusting your hands with a small amount of flour; form mixture into small balls; maximum 15. Indent with thumb or forefinger to make a hole; in order to fill the centre of each ball with a tiny piece of creamy cheese. Fold over. Shape into a ball between the two palms of your hands; gently and without pressing mixture or kneading it. Arrange upon a long baking tray; lined with parchment paper. Gently press each ball to slightly flatten. Bake for approximately 30 minutes; or when firm to the touch and slightly golden. Remove from oven. Allow to cool off, then serve; either warm or at room temperature.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 15 September, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.