Yorkshire Teacakes

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I grew up eating Yorkshire Teacakes made to this recipe. As children we loved them best more or less straight from the oven and they would have been gone in a flash! We never got to find out how delicious they were toasted as they didn’t last long enough, but now that I’m older and wiser I know that they’re even nicer this way. For anyone unfamiliar with the term “teacake”, it is best described as a bread cake or roll sweetened with a little sugar and some dried fruit. The same recipe doubles up as my recipe for Hot Cross Buns, with the addition of some mixed spice and a flour and water “cross”.

INGREDIENTS:

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450g of ordinary plain flour

1 sachet of dried yeast (10g)

25g of caster or granulated sugar

1 level teaspoon of salt

25g of butter

150mls of warm water

150mls of warm milk

40g of currants or sultanas

15g of chopped mixed peel

1 heaped teaspoon of mixed spice (optional)

METHOD:

  • add the dried yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar to the warm water, stir & leave to one side for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is starting to froth
  • measure the flour and salt into a large bowl, then cut the butter into pieces and rub this into the flour
  • add the dried fruit, the remaining sugar, the yeast liquid and the warm milk
  • bring everything together with either a wooden spoon or your hands, then tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface
  • knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic
  • place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and then leave the dough at room temperature to rise until it has doubled in size ( this took about 1½ hours in my case as the room was quite cool, but usually it would take about 45 – 50 minutes)
  • turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into 8 pieces
  • knead each portion and shape it into a ball shape, then place each teacake a little apart onto a greased baking tray
  • flatten each teacake with your fingers, cover the tray with a tea towel and then leave the teacakes to rise until they are puffy (about 10 – 15 minutes)
  • preheat the oven to 200°C
  • on this occasion, just before the teacakes went into the oven, I brushed them lightly with some beaten egg, just to see what kind of finish this gave to the teacakes. My preferred method is to omit the egg wash and instead wipe the baked teacakes with buttered paper just after they have come out of the oven. This latter method gives a softer finish to the teacakes, whereas in my opinion the glaze is harder and the teacakes tend to go too brown before they are cooked properly
  • bake the teacakes until they are golden brown, about 12 – 15 minutes

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If possible, leave the teacakes to cool for 10 minutes or so before splitting them in half and enjoying them either as they are or toasted. In either case, be sure to use lashings of butter!

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