Sunday, 9 November 2014

Spiced Teacake

A lovely treat is a toasted teacake, with lashings of butter, all washed down with a cup of tea.  I looked around for a recipe, and found several that looked promising.  The one I settled of was on the BBC Food website, courtesy of The Hairy Bikers.  I just want to comment on that site, and one other.  The BBC seems to have 2 different sites for recipes, BBC Food and BBC Good Food.  Now that might imply that BBC Food is not quite good food.  But in fact the reason for the difference is simply that BBC Good Food is the site of BBC Good Food Magazine. 

On to the recipe then.  I just have a couple of comments about it.  Firstly when kneading the dough if became very firm, and hard to work, really quite quickly.  I persevered though, but later thought that maybe it dough was too dry, and I should have added a little more milk.  In the event it was too late to do that, as I had added the dried fruit and had set the dough to prove.  

The only other comment is that I washed the top of the rolled out teacakes with some beaten egg before baking.  That was just to give them a shine.  Often, with shop bought teacakes, the outside is slightly sticky.  I think this might be achieved by brushing a little apricot jam on them, but it would have to be a very light covering.
Spicy Teacakes
Ingredients:
  • 375g/13oz strong white bread flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes, lightly crushed
  • 7g/¼oz sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ orange, zest only
  • 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
  • 50g/1¾oz butter, cubed
  • 150ml/5fl oz semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 125g/4½oz mixed dried fruit
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil, for greasing
  • butter, for serving
Method:
  1. Mix the flour, salt, yeast, spices, orange zest and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Put the butter and milk in a small saucepan and heat very gently until the butter is melted and the milk is just lukewarm. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the warm butter, milk and egg. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball.
  4. Turn out on a very lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes to form a smooth, pliable dough. Knead the fruit into the dough until evenly distributed, then place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for 1½ hours, or until doubled in size and spongy to touch.
  5. Knead the dough lightly, divide into six portions and roll into balls. Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball to a circle about 1cm/½in thick and place on a large baking tray lined with baking parchment. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for a further 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Remove the clingfilm and bake the teacakes in the centre of the oven for 15-18 minutes, or until well risen and golden-brown. Serve warm or leave to cool on a wire rack, then toast and serve spread thickly with butter. Eat within 24 hours to enjoy them at their best.

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