Basil & Parmesan Scones

star rating (4) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo

Basil & Parmesan Scones

star rating (4) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Scones, spread with preserves or honey, have long been known as a sweet breakfast or tea-time treat. But savory scones, made with herbs and cheese instead of sugar and fruit, are the perfect lunchtime accompaniment to soup, stew, chili or a salad. Easily prepared, quickly baked and sturdy enough to throw in a lunch bag, scones are a neat way to help you fulfill your grain requirement on the food pyramid.

1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Round Table Unbleached Pastry Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
a heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried basil, or 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut in pieces
2 large eggs (1 separated, white reserved for glaze)
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
additional Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, cheese, salt and basil. Add the pieces of butter, working them into the flour, as you would with pie crust, till the mixture forms even crumbs.

Beat together 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, and the buttermilk or yogurt. Stir gently into dry mixture till the whole thing clings together.

Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and pat into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Using a bowl scraper, baker's bench knife, regular knife or rolling pizza wheel, cut rectangle into squares; cut each square in half diagonally, so you have triangular scones. Make them as large or small as you wish.

Transfer scones to lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Whisk reserved egg white vigorously, till it becomes somewhat liquid (instead of "clumpy"). Brush each scone with egg white, and sprinkle with some additional Parmesan.

Bake scones in a preheated 450°F oven for 10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 20 small (2-inch scones), or fewer large ones.

Nutrition information per serving (1 small scone, 29 g): 80 cal, 4 g fat, 3 g protein, 9 g complex carbohydrates, 35 mg cholesterol, 165 mg sodium, 37 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 91 mg calcium, 50 mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 8, September-October 1992 issue.


  • star rating 11/01/2014
  • Marie from Beautiful Northern Michigan
  • Can't say enough about what a taste treat these are. I whipped them up in no time at all and baked half of them right away. They're amazing -- flaky, hi-rising, and delicious -- love the basil-Parmesan combination. Neither of those flavors overpowers the other. I did add some extra buttermilk to help the dough come together, about a tablespoon. The other half are in the freezer waiting to be baked up quickly during the week. This one's a keeper!
  • star rating 07/12/2013
  • OB from GA
  • My daughter requested savory scones for breakfast and this recipe matched the criteria I was looking for. (It was savory and I had all the ingredients on hand.). I did have to substitute the KAF unbleached pastry flour which I do not have on hand for organic whole wheat pastry flour that I picked up at my local farmers market. I also added a TBS of milled flax seed which I add to most of my scones. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly. I also had to add a little more buttermilk to the dough to make it all come together. This is very unusual for me as I live in the SE US with its high humidity and I almost always use less liquid than a recipe calls for. And it was very humid the day I made these. The scones were very easy to roll and came out of the oven looking golden brown. The kitchen smelled of basil (and I used dried basil). The taste was equal to the appearance. I was surprised at how well the basil flavor came through without overpowering the Parmesan. This is definitely a recipe I will use again.
  • star rating 07/07/2013
  • Kim from Chicago, IL
  • Loved how thick and flakey these scones are. Too may recipes turn out like muffins or cake. Great recipe!
  • star rating 04/08/2011
  • Crazy Scone Girl from Virginia
  • This is a tasty recipe but its kinda of dense... I know I am following the recipe correctly and not overworking the dough. But overall its pretty good.