I decided to bake my way through the Great British Baking Show (GBBS for short) and write about it. Don’t know much about GBBS? No worries. Check out my first blog in this series to learn more about the show and why I decided to do this, for better or for worse (so far, mostly worse).
Hi all, it’s been awhile. I’ve been slacking, between work and well, looking for more work, I haven’t had much time to bake, let alone blog about it.
But, last week, I did – I made scones. Which, if you were keeping track, was totally not what I was supposed to be baking this time. The last time I wrote, I was working through season one’s eighth episode – “Advanced Dough.” (P.S. I’m referring to the seasons as they appeared on Netflix – which is totally not the order they aired in the U.K.)
Anyway, the last time I wrote, I was actually supposed to take on a complicated bake called a povitica but for the first time ever, I decided to skip a challenge. (It was one of the most labor-intensive bakes I’ve ever seen on the show and I’m not quite up to it after the surgery I had in June.)
So I was going to skip to the next bake instead – donuts. But, here’s the thing, I skipped that too. I noticed that I was putting off bakes that are harder to share – that aren’t good the next day or that have be refrigerated, etc.
I was also procrastinating on some bakes in which the ingredients were really expensive and/or hard to find in my Midwestern town. I hate to waste food and quite frankly, I’m cheap, so I thought about the situation, calmly…
…and I decided to change the system.
Instead of trying to bake every single thing from every single season of GBBS – which is forever-taking, I’m going to focus on baking one thing from each episode – or roughly ten bakes per season. If, for whatever reason, I skip an entire episode, I’ll make 15 bakes from that season instead – sort of a baking penalty.
This way, I can hopefully start making up some ground and maybe one day actually catch up to where they are on the show.
Now on to the bake:
Once I got into a skipping mood, I skipped the entire season one episode 9 – Patisserie episode. The challenges in this one were a little too intense for me now, but maybe I’ll come back to them later on (hopefully when I’ve acquired more baking skills).
So, instead, I blazed ahead to the final episode of season one: predictably called: The Final. In this episode, the contestants take on pastries like croissants and a technical challenge where they have to make scones, mini Victoria sponges and tartlets.
In the next few weeks, I’ll take on variations of these challenges myself. I’m particularly excited to try to make croissants. But, for now, I started with the scones, because well, I wanted some scones.
The contestants made tea time scones which resemble our American biscuits. But, I went with a different approach and made Lemon Rosemary scones from my The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays cookbook. You can also find the recipe on the Pioneer Woman’s aka Ree Drummond’s website.
These scones don’t look like biscuits, instead they look like little sugary triangles of joy. Or well, that’s what they looked like to me anyway when I saw them in the cookbook.
I’d marked the page to remind myself to make these years ago, but back then, scones seemed scary to me. At the time, I hadn’t attempted (and in many cases failed to) make a Baked Alaska or a Swedish Princess Cake or a Hungarian Dobos Torte so I thought scones were hard.
Turns out, they’re not.
First things first, I gathered up all of my ingredients. Then I had to make my scone dough, which was easy. I just shifted together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a big bowl. Then I added two sticks worth of cubed, cold butter. It looks like there’s a lot of butter in here – because there is a lot of butter in here.
Then, thus butterfied (I don’t care that that’s not a word. It should be.) I used a pastry cutter to combine the butter into my dry ingredients in that big bowl.
Then I added one egg, the zest of one lemon, and the leaves from one rosemary sprig to one cup of heavy cream in a measuring cup. I poured this into the bowl and stirred it gently with a fork until all of the ingredients were combined.
I didn’t do so well with this process, so I just mixed it all together with my hands. Which it turns out, wasn’t that bad of a plan, because the next step called for me to use my hands to “press the dough into a ball.”
So basically, I was just a recipe mind reader or something, doing something Ree told me to do even before she told me to do it.
I’m a genius.
Or, I was a genius – until we got to the next part – cutting my dough. I was supposed to press my dough out into a roughly rectangular shape. Which I roughly did.
Then I rolled it out to be about one third of a inch think. I got a ruler and everything.
Then I was supposed to use a pizza cutter or knife to cut that rectangle into 12 smaller rectangles. I used a pizza cutter, but maybe I should have used a knife because my rectangles weren’t well, even. We’re blaming the pizza cutter on this, not my tendency to “eyeball” measurements that shouldn’t be “eyeballed”.
From there, I cut my totally-not-even rectangles in half to make 24 smaller triangles, which were also, fittingly not-even.
I transferred the widely-different-sized triangles to two baking sheets I’d lined with baking mats and baked them for 18 minutes at 350 degrees.
But, I actually baked them for more like 25 minutes, because I have a tendency to over-bake things and I guess my definition of “just barely golden brown” is different than most people’s definition and is also quite possibly wrong.
But whatever, when they came out they looked pretty good.
But they looked even better when I covered them in a bunch of lemon-rosemary glaze. While the scones were cooling, I made a glaze by combining shifted powered sugar, a bit of whole milk, the juice and zest of one lemon and the leaves from one sprig of rosemary.
I’ll be honest here, I totally used more than the juice of one lemon. Because my lemon was dinky. (Dinky is a technical term, right? I thought so.) So I used the juice of two lemons, because lemon also happens to be my favorite flavor.
Thanks to my overzealous lemon-ing the rosemary in my Lemon Rosemary Scones didn’t stand out much. But that’s okay. (I mentioned I like lemon, right?)
Anyway, at this point, I was supposed to let the scones cool completely before I dipped them in the glaze to fully cover them. But who in the world can wait to let baked goods completely cool down?
Not me, that’s who.
So my glaze didn’t stick as well as it should have because my scones were still a bit warm. But, not to be outsmarted by temperatures, or glaze, or instructions, I just popped my coated scones in the fridge for a bit, then took them out and dipped them a second time.
This is the only time double-dipping is allowed, let alone recommended.
Anyway, in the end, I thought my scones were pretty darn good. But seeing as I’ve never eaten a scone before, I really have no basis of comparison.
They were darn fun to bake though and there were no major disasters, so I’m going to count this as a major win.
Boom, look! It’s scones!
Next time on the baking blog, I’ll either make croissants, or a Victoria sponge or a tartlet. Who knows? It’s anarchy over here now.
Until then, thanks for reading the blog, and feel free to share it. I’ve gotten rid of my Facebook page, so I no longer have a Sometimes I Bake Mistakes presence there, but you can share it for me, if you feel like it. No pressure.
Also, you can always follow the blog by just hitting that handy follow button over there. See it? Good. Just click that. There, you can put in your email address and get sent the blogs by email. You’ll only get emails when there’s a blog, which, based on my track record, isn’t that often.
P.S. You can also follow me on Twitter, where I talk about baking and other stuff and follow pretty much any Great British Baking Show contestant ever, in the hopes that it will somehow teach me be a better baker.
Anyway, peace out.