Looking for something to snack on while you enjoy your tea? Try out this savory Mediterranean twist on the classic English scone. Our za'atar and halloumi scones recipe is to die for. With their bright and Zesty flavors, these scones are bound to be your new favorite pastry.
Scones are biscuit-like cakes that originated from Scotland. They became very popular in England around the 1700s. They were traditionally served during afternoon tea time (around 4 PM). This treat eventually made its way to the West. These days, scones are commonplace in any coffee shop or bakery you set foot in.
If you love scones, especially the savory ones, then you're definitely going to love these za'atar and halloumi scones. You can have them for breakfast, lunch, or stick to tradition and serve them during tea time. The best part is, they're super easy to make—it only takes 30 to 35 minutes!
But before we get into the recipe, you might be wondering, what are za'atar and halloumi anyway? We'll give you a short introduction of the two main ingredients and the type of flavor notes you can expect from them and this dish.
What Is Za'atar?
Za'atar is an essential ingredient in many middle eastern cuisines. It is usually eaten during breakfast with some bread and olive oil. But it is actually an incredibly versatile seasoning.
It can be used in almost any dish, from meats to salads, to bread, pastries, and scones—there are so many uses for za'atar. That is why it's an essential seasoning to have in any kitchen. We'll even link a few other za'atar recipes you should try at the end of this recipe. But, what exactly is za'atar?
It is actually a mixture of different spices and herbs. Although each region has its own za'atar mixture, there are five main ingredients that are commonly used in za'atar seasoning. These are thyme, sesame seeds, oregano, salt, and sumac.
- Thyme: A common herb used in many dishes. It has a very strong pronounced herbal flavor with sharp grass, wood, and floral notes. Can also be very citrusy, similar to lemons.
- Sesame: This seed comes from the sesame plant. It is commonly used in Asian dishes and has a very distinct nutty and sweet taste that is enhanced when toasted.
- Oregano: Comes from the same family as thyme. Originates from the Meditteranean. It has a very pungent scent and it almost tastes similar to mint but slightly bitter and more earthy.
- Sumac: A bright red spice that originates from the middle east. It's responsible for the tangy flavor in za'atar. It has citrus flavor notes, which is why it's also used to substitute lemon in certain dishes. Can be sour, which is why it's mixed with other herbs that balance out the sourness.
This blend of spices is what gives za'atar that unique and distinct flavor that can instantly brighten up any dish and give it more depth. The only downside is it's not easy to find za'atar in local grocery stores. Luckily, you can easily buy za'atar online, right here at Zesty Z.
What Is Halloumi?
Halloumi is a popular Mediterranean cheese, traditionally made from sheep's or goat's milk. It is a semi-hard, unripened, and brined cheese. It has a very unique and rare texture that makes it hard to substitute. It is usually compared to feta cheese, but halloumi has a smoother texture that is truly one of a kind.
In its raw state, you might find it to be a bit plain with some salty notes. It can also be quite rubbery, which is why people rarely eat halloumi raw. Rather, halloumi is best eaten when grilled or pan-fried. It has a high melting point, so you don't have to worry about it melting on your grill.
Once it's cooked, it has an absolutely delicious savory and tangy taste with a slightly creamy texture. You can use it in sandwiches, wrap, salads, pastries, and in this case—the most delicious scones you've indulged in!
How To Make Za'atar And Halloumi Scones
Ready to make za'atar and halloumi scones? So are we! Here is what you'll need to know:
The basic ingredients for scones are flour, butter, baking powder, and milk. We'll be using these exact same ingredients, but instead of using chives and cheddar—which is a popular flavor for traditional English savory scones—we'll be using za'atar and halloumi.
Why This Recipe Works
This is one of our favorite baking recipes. And once you try these delicious scones, you'll see why. Both za'atar and halloumi are very versatile ingredients. Their flavor profiles compliment each other very well. The sumac in the za'atar matches the tanginess that you get from the halloumi, which can instantly give any dish a refreshing burst of flavors. Meanwhile, the thyme, oregano, sesame, and salt work together to add more depth to the dish.
When you take a bite out of these za'atar and halloumi scones, expect to be blown away by the most delicious scones you ever had. We mean it! You can serve this for breakfast with some fresh tomatoes and olives on the side. During lunch, you can use it as a side for soups and salads. Or eat it alone during your afternoon tea time.
Are you ready to taste these ridiculously delicious za'atar and halloumi scones? Take note that scones are best eaten the same day they're made. But don't worry, once you've tried these scones, you'll definitely want to finish them all. And if you can't finish them in a day, you can easily store them in an airtight container and reheat them in the oven before eating.
Za'atar and Halloumi Scones Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 30-35 minutes
- 2 cups all-purpose plain flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 85 g feta cheese
- 85 g halloumi cheese, grated
- 2 tbsp of Zesty Z za'atar
- 3 eggs
- 120 ml whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°Fahrenheit or 180°Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Once combined, add in the cold cubes of butter and using a fork cut into the flour. You can also use a pastry cutter or your fingertips. Keep mixing until it resembles oats. You should still be able to see some pea-size flecks of butter.
- Take your feta cheese and crumble it until it's fine. If the feta is too watery, set it on paper towels for a few minutes after crumbling. Grab your halloumi and grate it while you're drying the feta. Once the feta is dry, add it into the flour mix, along with the grated halloumi, and za’atar, then combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until fully combined. The mixture should be a pale yellow with some light frothing. You can do this by hand or use a blender to speed the process up. Pour the egg mixture into the flour and mix with a spatula until well blended.
- Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, drop heaping spoonfuls of the dough onto the lined baking sheet. You should have enough dough to make around 12 scones. You can either leave the dough as is, or you can shape them into triangles.
- Bake until the edges are golden brown but still soft in the center. This will take 20–25 minutes. Serve immediately or transfer to a wire rack to cool before storing.
More Za'tar Recipes To Try
If you thought these za'atar and halloumi scones were delicious, wait till you try the other za'atar recipes on our website, such as:
- Za'atar and cheese manakish recipe: A traditional Lebanese breakfast dish, similar to a pizza, that's sure to have you begging for more.
When you're trying out these za'atar recipes make sure you're getting your za'atar seasoning from the right place, or these recipes might not turn out as great as they should be. For pure and authentic za'atar seasoning, look no further than Zesty Z.