It is what you say it is.
It’s not ‘Oh Lordy I woke up late for this coffee meeting and I haven’t washed my hair in three days’… it’s called the Top Knot Bun.
It’s not ‘I can’t muster the strength to make anything other than popcorn for dinner’… it’s High Fiber Dinnertime (followed by a handful of chocolate chips for dinner, and big happy breakfast).
It’s not ‘Wasting time online window shopping’… it’s Life Research (and I just like to imagine that I can afford that dress).
It’s not ‘Irish Soda Bread’… it’s Skillet Scones (with peppers and feta and yaaaayyyy for basil!).
It is what you say it is.
All white everything.
Measuring flour is like a meditation for me. Does it have this effect on you too?
Flavor bits include: fresh red pepper, salty and crumbly feta cheese, fresh basil, and cracked black pepper.
Why would we add plain old, lack luster (not really) red pepper to this dish when we can roast the heck out of it and make it look all charred and beautiful!?
I charred this pepper over a gas stove using a medium flame and a pair of tongs (I accidentally typed thongs… gross).
The charred skin is gently peeled from the pepper (using a butterknife) and the pepper is deseeded and diced.
Ps… welcome to flavor-town. You know what’s up.
Wet meets dry. Dry meets wet. It’s a meeting of the minds.
I love to leave a few of the charred bits on the red pepper. It makes for pretty colorings and hella flavorings.
Also, the salty feta cheese is such a high-point in these monster scones.
Because I’m such a fan, I made these Feta and Chive Biscuits too! Soo bonkers delicious!
My dough was looking a bit too wet. I might have been a tab over-eager (and totally on the phone) while measuring the buttermilk.
Realtalk: I needed to add more flour. Be cool… it worked.
The incorporated batter is moist but shaggy. About 8 solid kneads will bring it together into a doughy flavorball (official baking term of 2013).
We use a big ol’ butcher knife to slice an X deep into the dough. We brush generously with buttermilk and sprinkle enthusiastically with crushed black peppercorns. It’s just what we do.
After some quality time in the oven, the Skillet Scone is browned on top and golden crispy on the bottom.
Like everything in the world (besides ice cubes and baguette and kittens) it is best straight out of the oven.
This bread is dense and thoughtful. It’s mostly thoughtful because I’ve been thinking about it nonstop since I had my first slice this morning. It’s full of flavor pockets and a beautiful tang from the feta and buttermilk. Feel free to substitute chopped chives for the basil. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet on-hand for baking, a well-greased 9-inch round pan will do just fine.
Ok… I’ve got the bread! Who is making the big pot of chili? I’ll be right over. Sweet. Thaaaaanks!
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.