Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Baking Nemesis... by Barbara (Ruth)

This scone looks pretty good, doesn't it?

Yeah. It tastes like eggs.

I pride myself on being a pretty darn good baker. Bread, rolls, muffins, cakes, hot cross buns, biscuits - you name it, I can bake it. But I have never ever conquered the scone.

Every time I've tried to bake them there has been something wrong with them. I figure out what, and the next time, I correct my mistake.

  • too tough, stir less
  • too dry, add less flour
  • over cooked, reduce heat and cook less (duh)
  • too crumbly, less butter
  • rock hard, get a new recipe
The last time I made scones I used a mix from Williams Sonoma. Who can screw up a mix? I can! They were tough and dry. I was so disappointed that I threw the second batch straight in the garbage.

So... you may have heard of this little thing called the Royal Wedding coming up on Friday. A few of us at work are talking about arriving at 5am and watching the event on the TV in our boardroom. I thought - hey I should make scones! It's been ages since I tried, and surely I'm older and wiser now. (Maybe the former, clearly not the latter.)

So, I looked up a foolproof recipe from Martha Stewart herself. I watched the video clip of her making them. I got out my Mum's old baking utensils:
Ye Olde Pastry Blender
Old-fashioned Donut/Biscuit Cutter 
I sifted, mixed, blended, and kneaded (ever so gently). I cut measured circles, exactly 3/4" thick. I egg-washed, sugar coated, placed on parchment paper lined trays, baked and checked and ensured there were no burning incidents.

I thought it was funny that in the video Martha only used 3 eggs, but her recipe called for 4. (I had exactly 4 in the fridge, thank goodness.) But then I got to the egg-wash stage and thought, "yikes I need another egg"! Fortunately, I had some liquid egg substitute (great in muffins), so I used that.

I made a pot of tea. Got out some strawberry jam. Arranged everything just so, took a picture (a friend calls it "food porn"):
Seriously. How good do these look?

And then I sat down to eat. Pretty light, a tad tough (too much freaking kneading), and... Tastes. Like. Eggs.

Check the recipe Ruth. Crap! Only 3 eggs called for... the fourth was for the stupid egg wash. That will teach me not to read the recipe all the way through. Sigh.

Oh I'll eat them anyway. A little jam covers a multitude of sins. But they are not the perfect, flaky, tasty scones that I dream of baking with my own two hands.

Scones remain unconquered by this baker. Here's the link to the recipe.. give it a shot and let me know how you do!

1 comment:

  1. I have the same problem with not reading the recipe through all the way. You'd think by now I'd have learned.
    I wouldn't say I have one nemesis in particular, but I've never really mastered pie crusts. And I'm too intimidated to even try caramel!