Preheat oven to 400. using mixer with paddle attachment, mix flour, baking powder, pepper and salt. With mixer running, gradually add butter, mixing til dough is crumbly and there are flour butter bits about the size of small peas. Add cheese and mix til just blended. (This can also be done by hand. Stir together flour, baking powder, pepper, and salt in large bowl. Gradually cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives til mixture resembles small peas. Stir in the cheese).
Add bacon, scallions, and 3/4 cup buttermilk. Mix by hand just til all ingredients are incorporated. If mixture is too dry, add remaining buttermilk, 1 Tbsp. at a time, til dough is pliable and can be formed into a ball. Stir as lightly and little as possible.
Put dough on lightly floured work surface. Pat it into a ball. Using a well floured rolling pin, flatten dough into a circle about 8 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough into 8 or 10 wedges.
Whisk egg and water in small bowl. Brush each wedge with egg wash, put the scones on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or til golden brown and no longer sticky in the middle. Serve warm. Makes 8 to 10
You can substitute cheddar for Swiss, Monterey Jack or any semisoft grating cheese. Whichever cheese you use, don’t but the pregrated stuff. It’s flavor is inferior. Apple smoked bacon is a must for this recipe, but any good bacon will do. Thin or thick as long as it’s cooked crisp. If you want a richer scone, substitute heavy cream for half of the buttermilk. These are best served warm but may be kept in airtight container for several hours or overnight.
Source: The Pastry Queen, Rebecca Rather