Friday, January 27, 2012

Daring Bakers - Back to Basics: Scones



There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head. `Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,' thought Alice; `only, as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind.'

From Chapter VII, A Mad Tea Party, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I have now been a Daring Baker for 4 years - since January 2008.  My first Daring Bakers recipe was lemon meringue pie.  Every now and again, especially when I am time poor, I think about giving it up, but then a recipe surprises me and I keep on going. I look forward to the possibilities that this year will bring with the Daring Bakers, a group of thousands of bakers from all over the world who bake the same recipe once a month.

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

Scones are a tea time favourite in Australia, inherited from the British migrants to this country.  Traditionally, scones are served with jam and cream to make a Devonshire tea or a Cornish tea, depending on whether you put the jam or the cream on first (or so I have been told).  On my first trip to England in 2001,  I made sure that I had tea (in a pot, of course) with scones with jam and clotted cream in a small tea room in Kensington, London, somewhere close to Harrods.  It was fabulous, of course, and is a treasured memory of my trip.

Audax's recipe for scones was neither hard nor expensive, but I certainly learned a lot about scone making, despite having made scones since as far back as home economics in year eight at high school. I was pleasantly surprised by how high and fluffy the scones I made this month were:



I am scraping this in the day before it is due on the Australia Day holiday, so I haven't made any variations.  I just made Audax's basic recipe.  I froze the grated butter, I cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, I  rested the dough for twenty minutes before cutting it, I used a cold cutter, I didn't twist the cutter when cutting out the scones, and I brushed the tops with milk before baking, and baked them in the hot oven recommended.  I am not sure which element it was, or whether it was all of them, but these were the highest, fluffiest scones that I have ever made.  I was very pleased!  The only downer was that I only got three scones out of the recipe - perhaps my cutter was too big?

In the Australian/English tradition, I served my scones with jam (blueberry on this case) and whipped cream, all gussied up in little soy sauce pots from a sushi set:


Nom!



Thanks to Audax for proving that even when you think you know something, there is always more that can be learned about it.  Audax will publish the recipe on his site, if you would like to try it.  And check out the other Daring Bakers efforts at The Daring Kitchen.

20 comments:

Happy Cook / Finla said...

Yours look so good, mine didnt rise so much ,because by mistake i added less baking powder.

Gloria said...

What lovely Cakelaw Love scones! and these look absolutely nice!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I wish I had time to try them this month! I love scones! :D

Heather said...

Lovely traditional scones - loved your reminiscences about London - we were there last Xmas and went for afternoon tea also in a lovely cafe near Harrod's, beautiful array of cakes and patisserie but I chose a scone with jam and cream - delicious it was too. happy baking from NZ :)

Audax said...

I'm so happy that the scones worked as well for you. Yes I think you are right it is a combination of all the little tips and hints that makes for great scones. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Renata said...

I've been a DB for almost 2 years and I still can't get enough, it's so much fun! I agree with you, no matter what, there is always something to be learned. Congrats on your picture perfect scones, they do look gorgeous!!

Lizzy said...

You did double duty today, too! I have been absent from DB the past couple months, but like you, an easy challenge reeled me in! Your scones look perfect!

The Blonde Duck said...

I don't know if I'd ever tried scones.

Cher said...

When I saw that we were making scones this month, I was thinking something else completely.
It was a good challenge & definitely pushed me out of my comfort level.

Amanda said...

Oooh, those look so tasty! I didn't try the resting - will have to make another batch and give it a go. I also found I didn't get very many scones from one batch. I guess I should just have doubled it - 3 scones is just teasing.

Kayte said...

Four years...wow, when I think back on all the things that have gone on in my life in four years and all the while you were doing Daring Bakers! Puts things in perspective. These look really wonderful. Love the whole idea of these at a tea, etc. Thanks for including the Alice bit, I always read it and get lost immediately in the wonder of each little bit. Very fun.

Bernideen said...

I think the older you get- you realize how much more you can learn and also RELEARN.

Jill said...

Your scone looks perfect, and your dishes are so cute. Very interesting about the order of the cream and jam...I think in the past I've put the cream on first and then the jam.

Daisy@Nevertoosweet said...

The scones look wonderful! I have a thing for scones but I find it's really hard to find good scones these days >_< at least it is over here in HK!

The Caked Crusader said...

I love a good scone and yours look pretty good to me! Love the jam and cream on top

chef_d said...

The scones look delicious!

Lauren said...

Those are some fluffy scones! They look fabulous!

Johanna GGG said...

I love scones - and love making them - though not in the recent weather we have had - yours look amazing so I must read up on the daring bakers accounts

TeaLady said...

Yeah! Time limits were why I dropped out of DB, but am often sorry I did. Love scones. Those look perfect!!

jo@includingcake said...

your scones look lovely and light and so pale which is really pretty! sweet scones with jam and cream are definitely the best!