Here is the latest installment of the sometimes exciting, sometimes not so much, Daring Bakers. This month the challenge was brought to us by someone called Audax Artifex. Well, I’m sure that’s not his name, but that’s his, let’s stay internet stagename persona for lack of a more tortured and over-worked expression. I admire this person mainly for the sheer amount of stuff he bakes. He essentially bakes well, constantly.
Or so it seems anyway. Every time there’s a challenge, he is always the first to share what he’s done and he shares and shares and shares. And shares. I guess I kind of am a bit envious that he has the time to make things over and over again, but most of all I am envious that he knows enough people to eat all the stuff he makes. I mean, no one person can eat all of that – I think. He’d have to be Hulk-sized to get through the amount of breads, cakes, croissants etc. Maybe he is. I’ve never seen him and know nothing else about him, so I made up a back story and now just assume it to be true. I don’t care what the truth is really, as long as my story is entertaining to me. Hulk.
ANYWAY, I was going to talk about his choice for the January DB challenge. And it couldn’t have been better: scones. Scones are by no means a challenge, more of a pleasure to make, and I think his intention was that people tried different recipes and techniques. Well, I did no such thing – daring bakers, meet the rogue member of your tribe.
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!
(may I just express massive freakout at the use of forward slash to separate letters in an acronym)
The one thing my good friend and Art-full Dodger Nancy and I decided to experiment with was four-hand scones. We made one batch of savoury ones and one batch of sweet ones.
Savoury ones first: we made cheese scones, obvzlyz. Following a Paul Hollywood recipe, these were awesome, especially when slathered in butter. They use whole wheat flour – so you can pretend they’re healthy – and lots and lots of wonderful cheeses, meaning that butter is clearly unnecessary, but then again, why would you ever hold off on butter? Utterly unreasonable. Forget all that stuff about being healthy too.
The stars of the show were definitely Nancy and Mary Berry’s Very Best Scones. Yes Mary, they do stand up to their name. Naturally, Nancy mixed in the sugar out of order (therefore cementing our role as the black sheep of DB – putting the daring into daring bakers), but it ultimately resulted in a lovely flaky scone. Covered in clotted cream and raspberry jam (‘are you a clotted cream first or jam first person?‘ cue discussion over which is best etc. just eat them already), we had a winner batch.
Unfortunately there is only poorly lit evidence of the cheese scones, and none of the other ones – indeed they were so marvellous and the day so short that there was no way we were ever going to manage any decent pictures.
In essence, they looked like scones. Just google ‘scones’ and you’ll see similar ones.
And follow the link for Paul’s recipe – worth the try: