When I say biscuit, its part that and partly scone. Bready and toothsome, deeply savoury and just about the perfect partner with a serving of Bangers & Colcannon or a hearty rooty soup to warm the cockles on a chilly day.
Mr Flavour swears he can taste bacon in these biscuits but I assure him there’s not, because there isn’t. Pumpkins and squash have magical properties: they are the chameleon of the food world, able to be sweet and savoury and can evoke buckets of umami. That’s what he was picking up as he scoffed into a freshly baked batch. I hope!
I recommend steaming the squash, rather than roasting and boiling, to reduce moisture intake (boiling) and moisture release (roasting). Steaming retains the pumpkins goodness, natural sweetness and shape. After steaming to perfection, I allow to just sit and air for about 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter if the squash gets cool because it’s going into the dough and then being baked anyway, but its an important step in getting rid of any excess moisture which can impact texture and rise. I like to roughly mash, mostly smooth but with some texture, to add a little bit of bite and interest to the finished scone.
The dough that you made will be quite sticky, so prepare to feel deeply uncomfortable when you’re handling the dough! Also, I can’t legislate for the type of pumpkin or squash you will use – there are so many varieties and each will have a different water content. So just be aware that if you are looking at your dough thinking: this can’t be right, it’s too wet, it probably is so just add a little more flour until such time as you have a dough that you can pick up and handle – but is still quite sticky too!
I use buttermilk for an extra hit of savouryness, but you can of course use normal milk.
Ingredients (makes 12 – 14 scones using a 6cm cutter)
- 275g plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 60 g butter (chilled and cubed)
- 125 ml buttermilk (+ a little extra to brush with)
- 250 g pumpkin/squash, peeled, deseeded, cubed, steamed until tender and mashed/pureed
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Pre heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius, fan
- Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, nutmeg and rosemary into a bowl.
- Add the cubes of chilled butter and crumble through to create a breadcrumb texture.
- Add the buttermilk and mashed/pureed pumpkin and stir everything together to combine well and to create a sticky dough.
- Flour the works surface and turn out the dough. Knead lightly into a smooth dough and form into a round about 2cm thick.
- Cut out the dough using a 6cm cutter and place on a lined baking tray. Gather the remaining dough up, and reform to cut out more. Repeat until all the dough has been used up.
- Brush each scones lightly with some buttermilk and scatter toasted pumpkin seeds on top.
- Place in the oven and back for about 20-25 minutes until doubled in size, golden and cooked through.
- Serve up with Bangers and Colcannon, or slather with the Pumpkin Spice and Maple Butter as a delicious mid-day snack.