If I made a list of my top ten foods, I think scones would be on there: so simple but soft, moreish and the taste of home. I like to use a square cutter, but you can use a round one, and by all means change the thyme for dill, coriander or tarragon if you prefer. The volume of liquid for your dough can depend on temperature and how thirsty your flour is, so you may not need to add all of the milk to the mixture – just add most of it and see how you go.
Fry the pancetta cubes in a small frying pan and over a medium heat until just crisp, then tip them onto some kitchen paper to drain off the excess fat.
Put the flour, baking powder, mustard powder, paprika, if using, and salt into a large bowl with the butter, then pick the mixture up in your hands and rub it together before letting it fall back into the bowl. Repeat this until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can also use a food processor to do this.
Stir 150g of the cheese into the butter and flour mixture with the chives, thyme and pancetta and then make a well in the centre of the mixture and add most of the buttermilk. Stir it all together with a round-bladed knife to make a soft, but not sticky dough. You might not need all of the milk, just add most of it and stop when you have a smooth and soft but not sticky dough.
Put your hands in the bowl and bring the mixture together to form a ball. Then using a rolling pin, gently roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 3cm thick. Using a lightly dusted cutter, stamp out eight scones and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Try not to twist the cutter, otherwise your scones may not have a nice, straight rise. Scrunch up the excess dough, knead very gently until smooth and then re-roll to cut as many scones as possible.
Brush the tops of the scones lightly with milk or buttermilk to glaze and then sprinkle over the remaining 50g of cheese. Place the scones in the oven to
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.