Thursday, 7 November 2013

Teacakes

Way back when I was a teenager working as a Saturday girl in a bakery, one of my favourite things to do at the end of the day when we had to throw all of the leftover stock away, was to tear open a fruit loaf and eat the entire middle out of it. There was something so irresistable about the soft squishy texture of the bread, coupled with a zesty flavour, that I adored. Ever since then, I have loved fruity sweet bread, but up until this week, I had never attempted to make anything similar.

I am still loving my adventures in bread making, and with the extra time I have on my hands while waiting for our baby to arrive, it only made sense to venture further into the bread making domain, and attempt a sweet dough. Enter these teacakes. They make the perfect daytime and night time snack (I ate a good few of this batch at 4.30am on those mornings where sleep is evading me and hunger is palpable). In fact, I liked these so much that I managed to consume the entire batch before John managed to try them, which is quite an achievement in our household.
They are delicious when eaten fresh out of the oven with a slathering of butter, or toasted to add a little crispness, then topped with butter. Basically, butter makes all bread better.

Teacakes
ingredients (makes 8 large, or 16 small teacakes)
500g strong white bread flour
10g salt
60g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
10g instant yeast
50g unsalted butter at room temp
300ml cool water
100g sultanas
100g chopped mixed peel
1 egg, beaten

method
1) Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
2) Add the butter and three quarters of the water, and mix gently together (either with your hands or a dough hook on a freestanding mixer.)
3) Once the mixture is starting to come together, gradually ad the remaining water. You might find you don't need all of it - you want the dough to hold itself together but not be wet. If it's wet from too much water, add a little more flour to absorb the excess moisture.
4) Knead the dough for 5 - 10 minutes until it is silky and elastic in texture.
5) Remove the dough from your mixing bowl then lightly oil your  bowl, before replacing the dough back in the bowl and cover wit a tea towel. Leave dough to rise for at least an hour, but it's fine to leave for up to 3 hours if you like.
6) Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, add the sultanas and mixed peel, and knead them into the dough until they are well dispersed.
7) Divide the dough into 8 pieces (I weighed mine to get uniform sized buns - I think each one weighed approximately 145g). Roll each piece into the shape of a bun, then gently roll with rolling pin until they are about 1 cm thick.
8) Line two large baking trays with parchment paper and place each teacake onto the trays, leaving enough room for them to spread a little.
9) Brush each teacake with the beaten egg.
10) Place each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rise for another hour. Pre-heat oven to 200C / Gas mark 5.
11) Bake in the preheated oven for 10 - 15 minutes, or until risen and golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack, or eat immediately to enjoy the luxury of warm, fresh, sweet bread.

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious, and I oh so remember those middle of the night snacks during pregnancy. Crazy how hungry I would be 'round the clock ;)

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