Get Baking: Celebrating National Baking Week 2011

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Baking has taken the nation by storm. Flour, caster sugar and tins have been flying off supermarket shelves, and ovens have been turned on in anticipation of fresh bread, sweet muffins or delicate meringues. The BBC’s ’The Great British Bake-off’ has inspired hundreds of people, and plenty of students have eschewed a night out in favour of sitting in with a cup of tea watching the competition take place.

But what is it about baking that we as a country love so much? The allure of comfort food, or a home cooked treat, is something we as students are very familiar with. There’s nothing like the smell of the kitchen when something’s in the oven. The act of cooking is also rather therapeutic, with its methodical processes and rhythmic motions. With the recession still gripping the country, it goes without saying that baking is a great way to fed family or friends on a budget, with some products keeping for up to nearly a week.

Now that ‘The Great British Bake-off’ is over, it doesn’t mean that the current baking craze must come to an end. With the evenings drawing in and those morning lectures becoming increasingly harder to wake up for, baking is sure to warm up the house and fill your stomach.

This week (Monday 17th – 23rd October 2011) is National Baking Week – so what better excuse to treat yourself and your housemates to some homemade comfort food. In order to celebrate, here is a simple recipe for some Plain Scones: with simple ingredients and very little waiting around, scones make the perfect change to pot noodle or a digestive biscuit for that afternoon snack.

Simple Scones:

(makes 12, approx.)

Ingredients:

250g (8oz) Plain Flour

4 teaspoons of baking powder

50g (2oz) Butter

150ml (1/4 pint) milk

A small amount of milk, to finish.

Method:

  • Heat the oven to 230°C (450°F), Gas Mark 8
  • Mix the flour and baking powder. Season with salt to your taste.
  • Add the butter and create ‘breadcrumbs’ by rubbing with your fingertips.
  • Pour in the milk and mix to form a dough.
  • Place the dough into a floured board and knead.
  • Roll out the dough and cut out circles. Place these on a baking sheet. Continue this until all the dough is gone.
  • Dab the scones with a little milk.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until done (when they’re golden, light and swollen)

Serve with butter, or jam and cream – or whatever takes your fancy. If you want a more savoury snack, add some grated cheese, or alternatively turn them into sweet apple and raising scones with some sugar. This recipe is easy to alter to your taste.

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