I’m a rusher. I do things quickly. Case in point, sometime years ago, I read about a cool cookbook, emailed it to Tim as a part joke, part serious suggestion of something he buy me for an upcoming gift, and as soon as the note left my draft screen, I forgot about it. On to the next thing. Good thing he didn’t though because that’s how Breakfast Lunch Tea joined my cookbook hoard last August, when he gave it to me as a birthday gift. It’s such a fun cookbook. Written by a bakery owner, it’s super spare and minimal in style but filled with highly tried and tested recipes and the kind of inspiring headnotes that say things like “everyone loves these at the bakery” or “this is one of my favorites.” I loved it afresh when he handed it to me last year, and I loved it afresh again last night when we got talking about it and I immediately jumped up from where we were sitting to grab it from its home on our waist-high wooden bookshelf in the dining room. Soon the two of us were talking about recipes we wanted to try out, like chocolate mousse and gluten-free shortbread and, ooh, hellllooo, blueberry scones.
This morning, mixing together ingredients and feeling dough between my fingers was just the thing to help me mentally unwind and remind me that, oh yeah, I like to bake. It’s easy to forget that when you haven’t been mentally present in the kitchen for a while. I like what Farhana Dawood wrote at BBC News last August, right around the time when Tim gave me this book, that “there is a physical element to baking – kneading the dough or cutting out cookie shapes. But there is also a strong creative or artistic component – the intricate decoration of cakes or biscuits.” It’s true—it’s amazing how the act of putting together a recipe can release some sort of pent-up mental block (same article: it’s even sometimes recommended as a therapy for depression!). And when you have a tested recipe to rely on, you can be just creative enough, while also knowing you can count on what results at the end. In our version of the kamut scones here, we’ve gone a little creative with some ingredient swaps but still basically followed the structure of Rose Bakery’s version: what results are tall, light, flaky towers perfect for breaking in half, topping with cream or honey.