Leftover Easter ham usually gives plenty to think about, its using up usually puts your creativity to the test. This year I ground the leftover cooked, smoked ham, divided into 100 g/3,5 oz portions and I put them in the freezer. Last week a bag of ham got into my hands and I thought scones would be a good base to serve ham in a different way.
I prepared a yeast butter dough and let it rise in the fridge overnight. The ham was seasoned with sautéed scallions because these bright color vegetables are now growing in our garden, and I wanted a hit of less-intense onion flavor. I folded the dough with the so called simple-double folding technique, so scones became light and flaky.
Scones are generally cut out from a 2-3 cm / 1 inch thick dough, so you may wonder why the dough has to be rolled out only 1 cm / 1/3 inch thick in this case. The reason lies in the buttery, laminated structure of the dough, which triples in size during baking. If you cut out thicker and smaller scones, the layers will slide and slope, and scones will look like the leaning tower of Pisa.
For the dough:
- 500 g (~4 cups) flour
- 250 g (~9 oz) butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 50 ml (~1/4 cup) milk
- 25 g (~1 oz) fresh yeast (~2 1/2 tsp dry yeast)
- pinch of sugar
- 5 tbsp sour cream
For the filling:
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 40 g (~1,5 oz) butter
- 100 g (~3,5 oz) cooked, smoked ham, ground
- 1 egg for the egg wash
Dissolve yeast with a pinch of sugar in lukewarm milk.
Sift the flour in a bowl. Roughly break the butter in small chunks, add them to the bowl and rub them in loosely. Make a hollow in the flour, add salt, egg, sour cream and activated yeast, and quickly knead into a smooth dough. Wrap and put it in the fridge for a night.
The following day melt the butter in a non-stick pan, add thinly sliced scallions and sauté until soft. Stir in ground ham and cook for a minute. Set aside and let it cool to room temperature.
On a floured surface roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Spread the onion-ham mixture evenly on top. Fold the left third to the centre, then fold the right third over that (it’s called simple fold).
Give the dough a quarter turn and roll out again.
Fold 1/4 of the dough to the middle both on the left and right side, then fold them over each other (double fold).
Wrap and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Repeat the folding process again, then let the dough rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough until it’s 1 cm/ 1/3 inch thick. With a 5 cm/2 inch cookie cutter cut out the scones. Score the top of the scones with a knife and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with beaten egg. While the scones rest, preheat the oven to 220°C / 428°F. Bake them for 15 minutes or until golden brown.