All visitors to this column will be interested in a newly published
Scottish cookery book (6 November 2002) - 'The Baker's Tale - The
specialities of James Burgess from One Devonshire Gardens' by cookery
writer Catherine Brown which has been published by Angels' Share an
imprint of Neil Wilson Publishing Ltd , Glasgow (£12.95). The book
contains a wide range of recipes from Daily Bread with fresh yeast to
Chocolate Truffles as used by James 'Mr Jimmy' Burgess, the last craft
baker to work at One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow's West End, one of the
top hotels in Scotland and the choice of the stars. Award-winning food
writer and long time fan of 'Mr Jimmy's' superb baking, Catherine Brown,
has captured the essence of a heart warming tale of a man dedicated to his
craft and sets his life story alongside his own mouth-watering recipes.
James Burges was obviously destined to be a baker. Taken by his granny as
a child he would stand for hours and watch the bakers at work in Brown's
in Dunblane. At 14 he left school to work as an apprentice baker and
studied Bakery at the Royal Technical College in Glasgow. Called up for
National Service he landed in Korea during the Korean War and was then
posted to Gibralter where he faced charges of 'disrespect for the Army
Catering Manual' - the sensible decision was taken to transfer him to the
Officers' Mess! After a series of jobs, including selling insurance, 'Mr
Jimmy' reputation for baking landed him a job at top Glasgow restaurant
The Triangle. A move to the prestigious One Devonshire Gardens was to
follow and for ten yers his skill as a baker and pastry chef sealed a fine
career. Among his admirers over the years were Billy Connelly, Lulu,
Robbie Coltrane, Delia Smith, Rolf Harris, Celine Dion and many others who
frequently left with a complimentary box of 'Mr Jimmy's' tablet or
Buy a copy of this book for the 'baker' in your life and then enjoy to the
full, recipe by recipe, the work of a craftsman in food. Hopefully we will
dip into 'Mr Jimmy's' recipes in the future, but here for starters is his
splendid recipe for Soda Scones.
This is an unsweetened scone. The daily bread in some areas of Scotland
where bread ovens were unknown.
Yield ; 2 rounds, 8 scones
Ingredients : 8 oz (225 g) plain flour; 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of
soda; 1 level teaspoon cream of tartar; 1 tablespoon vegetable oil; 5 fl
oz (150 ml) buttermilk or sweet milk soured with the juice of a lemon;
pinch of salt
Preheat the girdle and grease lightly' Test heat with some flour which
should turn a light brown in a few minutes. Also judge heat by holding
your hand over the girdle whrn it should feel hot but not fiercely so.
Mixing and Shaping : Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cream of
tartar into a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil and sour
milk and salt. Mix to a soft pliable dough. Do not overmix or the scones
will shrink when baked. Turn out onto a floured board. Flour on top and
divide into two. Roll each piece into a circle about 1 cm thick.
Baking : Bake on the girdle for about 4-5 minutes on one side. Turn and
bake on other side till cooked through. Fold in tea towel when cooked and
serve warm with butter and strawberry jam.