Ham and Cheese Sourdough Scones

Savory ham and cheese sourdough scones are flaky, buttery and oh so good. This recipe uses sourdough discard to give flavor and moisture and to keep them cold throughout the mixing process, resulting in the most tender and delicious sourdough scone. If you are looking for a savory scone recipe for a brunch or breakfast, you’ve got to try these ham and cheese sourdough scones.

Why You’ll Love Ham and Cheese Sourdough Scones

You will love these scones because they use up the ingredients in your fridge – leftover ham & extra sourdough discard – and taste good while doing it. The flavor from the sourdough discard pairs so well with the savory ham and cheddar. You’re going to love every bite, and the people you are serving will love them too. This recipe is very versatile. You can add in your favorite strong-flavored cheese, cut them into 16 smaller scones instead of 8 large ones, etc. It’s such a great recipe you will enjoy over and over again!

Important Ingredients in these Savory Scones

  • Sourdough DiscardI always use 100% hydration sourdough discard (fed equal weights flour and water). If your discard is very runny, you may need a little extra flour in this recipe. Using cold discard from the fridge is best because it keeps the butter chilled, resulting in a flakier scone. Mature discard works well in this recipe to bring the sour flavor that pairs well with the savory cheese and ham flavors.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder is what gives the scones their beautiful rise. It is activated by the moisture and heat when baked.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Scones work best with all-purpose flour or a flour with a lower protein content. In a scone recipe, the less gluten that develops, the better. This results in a more tender scone. Freshly milled soft white wheat flour also tastes great.
  • Unsalted Butter:  I always use unsalted butter in baking. You can control the flavor much better when you use unsalted butter. Salt content varies between brands of salted butter, and your baked goods may come out too salty when using salted butter. If you choose to use salted butter, decrease the salt a little bit in the recipe. Use cold, chilled butter for best results.
  • Sugar: White, granulated sugar is used to balance flavors. These are not sweet scones.
  • Heavy Cream and Milk: Heavy cream and milk are both used in this recipe in the scone dough. In combination they make the scones tender. Don’t substitute milk for heavy cream because it reduces the fat content in the scones, which makes the scones taste more “bready.” You can substitute more heavy cream for the milk in the recipe.
  • Eggs: Eggs make the scone dough rich and delicious. I have not left them out before.
  • Garlic Powder and Black Pepper: Adds flavor to the sourdough scones.
  • Cheese: To taste the cheese in these scones you need a sharp-flavored cheese. Sharp cheddar, Gruyere and Parmesan are all good choices.
  • Ham: I often use leftover ham, diced or cubed. Deli ham cubed or diced works too.
  • Green Onion or Chives: This is optional, but it does balance the flavors and adds some fresh brightness to the scones.

How to Make Ham and Cheese Sourdough Scones

Mix Ingredients Together

Dry Ingredients: Whisk together flour with sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Grate in cold butter and toss everything together with a fork. Add shredded cheese and diced ham. Fluff again until ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Liquid Ingredients: Whisk together the cold sourdough discard (straight from the fridge) with the eggs, cream and milk. The key to a really good sourdough scone is in whisking until the discard has broken down and combined with the other liquid ingredients.

Mix Together: Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the dry ingredients. Use a fork to combine until the dough is moistened throughout. Knead the dough a couple of times, being careful not to overwork the gluten strands. Add a little extra flour or cream if needed and combine in one big ball. 

Shape Scone Dough

Pat the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Shape into a round disc, about 8 inches in diameter. Use a bench knife and cut the disc into quarters. Then cut each quarter again until you have 8 large scones. Separate the scones, spreading them out on the parchment paper, and place the parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Bake Ham and Cheese Scones

Baking scones at a high heat activates the baking powder for a beautiful rise and turns chilled butter into steamy air pockets that make the scone light and airy. Preheat the oven to 425ºF before baking these scones. Brush them with some heavy cream and bake for 15 minutes until puffed up, flaky and baked all the way through. If you notice the scones are browning too quickly on the bottom, decrease the heat or place a baking stone on the rack below the scones.

Amy’s Recipe Tips

If I’m making this recipe for a crowd, I will pat the scone dough into a 10 by 10 square and cut it into 16 sections. This makes square-sized mini scones that are perfect for a brunch or breakfast. Baking time is the same.

Cold sourdough discard makes these scones extra flaky and delicious. Use your discard chilled when possible – it keeps the butter cold resulting in lots of layers.

Substitutions

One of the great things about these savory sourdough scones is you can easily change up the flavors. Add more dried herbs or fresh herbs or change up the cheese. Make them vegetarian by leaving out the ham – your choice!

  • Ham – replace the ham with any deli meat you like
  • Cheese – choose any favorite cheese to add into this recipe.
  • Seasonings – whatever flavors you love, add them into the scone dough before mixing.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover scones can be put in a plastic bag or airtight container and frozen for a month or two. Thaw and reheat when you are ready to serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

The scone dough was too wet (or too dry). What should I do?

If the dough is too wet, add a little extra flour to the dough. If it’s too dry, add a little extra heavy cream. Sourdough discard can produce more or less liquid depending on where it is in the fermentation cycle, so it’s possible you may need to add a little extra flour or cream.

Can sourdough scone dough be frozen and baked later?

Yes. This works well for sourdough scones. Make the scones according to recipe directions. Before baking, stick the scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze. You can bake these scones straight from your freezer to a pre-heated oven. Just add a few extra minutes on to the baking time.

Ham and Cheese Sourdough Scones

Amy
Ham and cheese sourdough scones are light, tender and oh so yummy – perfect to use up some leftover ham and sourdough discard. Add a favorite cheese and some fresh herbs and you have a delicious savory breakfast.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 8 scones

Ingredients
  

  • 370 grams all-purpose flour about 2 1/2 cups
  • 15 grams granulated sugar about 1 Tablespoon
  • 7 grams salt about 1 teaspoon
  • 15 grams baking powder about 1 Tablespoon
  • 3 grams garlic powder about 1 teaspoon
  • 1-2 grams black pepper freshly cracked, about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 113 grams unsalted butter about 1/2 cup
  • 120 grams sharp cheddar cheese grated, about 1 cup
  • 100 grams diced ham about 3/4 cup
  • 1-2 Tablespoons finely chopped chives or green onion if desired
  • 125 grams sourdough discard about 1/2 cup
  • 60 grams heavy cream shaken, about 1/4 cup
  • 40 grams milk whole or 2%, about 2 Tablespoons
  • 2 large eggs about 100 grams
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream for brushing on top of the scones before baking

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  • To a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Grate the cold butter into small pieces and fluff into the flour mixture with a fork until the little pieces of butter are spread throughout and coated with flour. Alternatively you can use a pastry cutter.
  • Add diced ham, sharp cheddar cheese and chopped chives (or green onion) to the flour mixture. Fluff again until ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  • To a separate bowl whisk together the sourdough discard, heavy cream, milk and eggs until smooth and incorporated.
  • Add the liquid to the flour mixture and stir together with a fork or spoon until moistened and sticking together. If you have a lot of flour leftover in the bowl, add a little extra cream a teaspoon or so at a time until it comes together. Scone dough will resemble pie dough more than cookie dough. Knead it once or twice until all the flour is incorporated. The key is to not over-mix it.
  • Pull out a sheet of parchment paper and lightly flour it. Turn the dough out and pat into a circular shape, about 8-10 inches round and 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife or a bench knife, cut the scones into eight triangular slices.
  • Place the parchment paper with the scones on it on top of a baking sheet. Separate the scones so they aren't touching. Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream. 
  • Bake the scones for 14-16 minutes at 425ºF (depending on how crispy you want the edges). Once scones are finished baking, pull them out of the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

Sourdough DiscardIn order to avoid a strong sourdough flavor, use sourdough discard that is fresh or no more than a day or two old. I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard. If your discard is very runny, you may need a little extra flour in this recipe.
Ham: I love making these scones with leftover ham, but this recipe also works well with deli ham that is diced. 
Cheese: Use a cheese that is your favorite, preferably one with a strong flavor: sharp or extra sharp cheddar, Gruyere and Parmesan would all be good choices.
Chives or Green Onion: You don’t have to add chives or green onions to this recipe, they are optional. They do bring a bright depth of flavor to the scones that is missing without them. 
Freshly Milled Flour: This recipe works well with freshly milled soft white wheat flour. Substitute it for the all-purpose flour in the recipe.
Make-Ahead option: Freeze the scones before baking and keep frozen for up to a month. When you’re ready to bake them, preheat the oven and bake, adding a few extra minutes to the bake time. 
Keyword ham and cheese sourdough scones, savory sourdough scones, sourdough discard savory scones, sourdough discard scone recipe, sourdough ham and cheese scones, sourdough scones
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3 Comments

  1. Amy, do I need to adjust the recipe and seasonings if I am making it without any meat? Thank you!