For a Proper Yorkshire High Tea
Toasted Teacakes and a Cuppa! Today’s Yorkshire Teacakes Recipe is my version of this classic spiced and fruited bun; I often find that the teacakes you buy in the supermarkets, and even in local bakeries, are a sad replica of what they should be…..soggy, limp and lacking in fruit or indeed any spice, they are light weight with an airy, almost invisible crumb that means that each bite disappears in a trice, with no “chew” to them all all. A proper Yorkshire Teacake should be a sizeable, almost a saucer sized bread bun, and it will be stuffed with mixed fruit and flavoured with warm, aromatic spices……delicious when eaten warm with butter, but even more desirable when split, toasted and spread with lashings of butter, that seeps and sinks into every crevice of these plump bread buns to give an unctuous texture and a buttery chin.
Yorkshire Teacake purists will no doubt admonish me for adding dried mixed fruit with citrus peel, as a true teacake usually only has currants or sultanas in them, with a dash of spice; but, I remember my mum and grandmother making these teacakes when I was little, and they weren’t airy fairy with a smattering of fruit, but they were packed with dried fruit AND peel, with a generous addition of mixed spice…..and so, today’s recipe is based on my childhood memories, a full bodied teacake with a goodly addition of fruit and mixed spice. Eat these warm from the oven, or wait, if you can, for an hour or so until they are cool enough to toast them – cut through the middle, toast them until lightly golden and then slather the hot teacakes with butter…..serve with a cup of Yorkshire tea, making sure you make a pot of tea, for further forays into the delights of a toasted teacake, preferably by a roaring fire with the wireless on.
As I sit in the front room of a North Yorkshire cottage on a wet and windy March day, this homely recipe beckons me to make it again……just think, a dozen, glossy and fruit packed bread cakes could be on the high tea-time table if I make a move now! Yes, yeasted bread does take time, but a lot of the time is passive time where the bread “proves” and “rises”, and that time is still yours to do with what you want – whether it be work or relaxing. The joys of freshly baked bread is well worth the effort of a few hours put to one side, and the results are well worth all of all that kneading and shaping, although you can start of this bread dough in a bread making machine if you want. Personally, I find the tactile nature of touching the dough from start to finish very cathartic when I need to get rid of any frustrations……and it also helps to add extra air and elasticity (gluten) into the dough too.
My Big Fat Yorkshire Teacake recipe is shared below, and again, breaking with tradition, I’ve made these with half white and half wholemeal flour. Adjust and amend as you see fit, but do try to keep the ratio of dry ingredients to liquids the same for a successful result. For more “Proper Yorkshire” recipes, I’ve added a wee list below, so do take a gander if you have time. That’s all for today, it’s the weekend, so I am off for a walk now the weather has cleared up and I will be making a batch of these later on too……Have a great weekend, and see you next week with more recipes and traveller’s tales. Karen
Proper Yorkshire Grub!