A Boy Who Bakes: can it be any better?

I like it when the kids say they want to cook. It doesn’t happen often. That’s perhaps why I like it: Pia says I’m a control freak in the kitchen, and she’s probably right.  But, the kids need to learn that life is not about frozen pizzas and ready-meals, so I gladly (mostly) relinquish the controls, sometimes.

Last week William asked if he could bake something; a simple request, but one met with wild visions in my head of flour and butter smeared around the kitchen and sugar in the cracks between the floorboards: the kind of messy cooking that many TV cooks feign to practice is overrated.

Still, as I said, I had to relent. Baking it was. In the absence of any yeast in the house, I steered William towards scones; an easy sell, as he loves them. The fridge was looking less than well-stocked: a few fantastic Swedish root vegetables and onions, a lump of parmesan cheese and not much else.

Roasted root vegetable soup and parmesan and chili scones were the impromptu order of the day, I decided. William was down with the plan.

Ok, so he spilled a little. Boys will be boys

Under my terrifyingly strict guidance (poor boy) he managed to whip up a dough without spilling so much as a grain of salt. What talent (and probably fear) my young ones have. You’ve got to love them.

He mixed and rubbed and kneaded with the precision of a ninja-cook and turned out four scones that would be the envy of any master chef.

The scones were magnificent – light, fluffy and full of flavor. The boy did good; the kitchen stayed clean. Job done. I’ll make chefs of them yet.

Job done. Pretty impressive for a 12-year-old


William’s masterful parmesan and chili scones

4 portions


  • 5dl flour
  • 1tsp. salt
  • 1tsp. baking powder
  • 75g butter, room temperature, cut in small cubes
  • 1dl grated parmesan
  • 1tsp. dried chili flakes
  • 1tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2dl mjölk


Set your oven to 275C

Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl

Add the butter and mix quickly and lightly with the flour by rubbing it between your fingertips until the mix becomes sandy in texture

Add the parmesan, pepper and chili flakes towards the end of mixing

Pour in the milk and mix together to form a dough

Form the dough, using lightly floured hands, into four even bread-roll shaped balls

Place on a baking tray covered with grease-proof paper

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown

  • Janerowena

    I have always encouraged my children to cook – my son has to cook one meal a week for all of us during the holidays. He is now 17 and the mess afterwards is still horrendous, but he has to clear up. He and his big sister used to make a cake every Saturday afternoon, but as our kitchen then was enormous the mess they made wasn’t such a problem. I wish I had photos of it – I reckon at least one more cake could have been made from the ingredients on the floor. I started them off with student cookery books, but their cooking is way past that stage and I know that he, like his sister, will be frustrated at the lack of storage space in the kitchens when he goes to uni. I have a vision of him with a selection of herbs and spices stored under his bed!

  • Monica-USA

    Rob, my mom was a control freak especially when it came to the cooking. It is sad because I only learned a handful of her famous recipes and now that she is gone the recipes are gone the weren’t written down. So my advice to offer is let go and let them learn and have fun it will be a great bonding experience for you all. Your son did a nice job with the scones. :o )

  • Olle Bolkeus

    good job son