Christine and I were pondering on what recipe to try next for the Blake & Bull guide to baking, and I naively suggested Teacakes. Little did I know that recipes are not 'widely' available in the 'traditional' style and that they vary A LOT! Christine covered a lot of ground, in cookbooks old and new, researching this and has created this recipe. Tried and tested with love and tenacity, here is Christine's Toasty Teacake method.
You may need...
500g strong white plain flour - or 1/2 and 1/2 with wholemeal (will need little more liquid)
10g fast action yeast
50g caster sugar
1tsp mixed spice or cinnamon
300 water, milk and water, or milk
100g cut mixed peel
100g dried fruit - I used sultanas
Glaze: beaten egg, or milk, or sugar and water
Right, lets get cooking!
Put the fluid into a jug, & the butter in a dish - leave at back of Aga to warm / melt through
Weigh out your dry ingredients into a large bowl, & the fruit - set to one side
Mix your dry ingredients together with butter & fluid. Mix with a palette knife before pulling together into a dough. The dough should feel a little sticky - add more fluid if necessary
Turn onto a work surface & grease your large bowl with a little vegetable oil
Knead dough through sticky stage (don’t add more flour) and it will start to become smooth - about 5-10 mins until smooth and springy (will bounce back when you lightly indent it with your finger)
Dried fruit - some recipes say add at the beginning of kneading, others say add after first rising. Kneading with the fruit in is a bit harder, but adding the fruit after the rising period is equally as tricky as the fruits try to escape! It is purely down to personal choice!
Once kneaded, leave the dough to rest until it has doubled in size for 1- 2 hours, test dough by pressing & it should spring back slowly.
Tip onto lightly floured work surface and knock back. If fruit was not added at the initial kneading, add now. Work until all air bubbles removed and dough smooth.
Divide the dough into 8-10 pieces, and roll into smooth balls on the work surface. Roll into flat discs with a rolling pin. Glaze - I like the beaten egg as it gives a lovely glossy brown colour - brush onto each roll before placing on prepared baking trays.
Place the trays into plastic bags (bin bags) and leave to proved for 1-1 and a half hours until increased in size. Test by making a small dent with your finger - it should not spring back.
Bake in the roasting oven for 10 - 15 minutes. I use the bottom or 2nd set of runners as higher can cause the tops to burn. I also bake 1 tray at a time.
Move the baked tea cakes to a wire rack to cool.
Slather in butter and gobble up with a mug of tea!
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