2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Perfect Pastry Blend 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon baking powder 2 teaspoons sugar 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) cold butter 1 cup (4 ounces) very coarsely grated or diced cheddar cheese 1/3 cup (about 1/2 ounce) snipped fresh chives, or finely diced scallion tops (the green part, 3/4 ounce) 1/2 pound bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (about 1 cup) 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) heavy cream or whipping cream, or enough to make the dough cohesive
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
1) Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
2) Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly, with some of the butter remaining in larger pieces.
3) Mix in the cheese, chives, and bacon until evenly distributed.
4) Add ¾ cup of the cream, stirring to combine. Try squeezing the dough together; if it’s crumbly and won’t hang together, or if there are crumbs remaining in the bottom of the bowl, add cream until the dough comes together. Transfer the shaggy dough to a well-floured work surface.
5) Pat the dough into a smooth 7" disk about ¾" thick. Transfer the disk to the prepared baking sheet.
6) Use a knife or bench knife to cut the disk into 8 wedges, spreading the wedges apart a bit on the pan.
7) Brush the scones with a bit of cream; this will help their crust brown.
8) Bake the scones for 22 to 24 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Yield: 8 large scones
Baker's tips •Want to make scones now, freeze and bake later? Make scones up to the point they're on the baking sheet, cut and ready to bake; don't brush them with cream. Freeze, then remove from the sheet, and wrap airtight in a plastic bag. When you're ready to bake, remove however many you want to bake from the freezer, place on a baking sheet, brush with cream, and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.
•Make mini-scones: Divide the dough in half, and roll each half into a 5" round. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven till golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes; or for about 25 minutes if frozen.