Posts Tagged ‘yeast baking’

Brioche MD (2)

In most tea shops around England toasted Yorkshire teacakes can be found on the menu.  There is a big difference between hand made ones and mass produced.  A little like processed bread the mass produced teacake once toasted and spread with butter  becomes a doughy nothingness, whereas the hand made version is more robust with a much better flavour and texture.  These large 6” sweet bread buns are studded with currants and are delicious split and toasted with butter.  Traditionally accompanied by a cup of tea.  I prefer to replace the currants with sultanas but any dried fruit can be used.  Someone from Yorkshire might have a problem with that, as they are quite protective of their regional recipe but I am a great believer in cooking what you like and how you like.

Fresh yeast is difficult enough to find locally let alone in the centre of London.  I would have a better chance of obtaining class A drugs than finding an ounce of fresh yeast on my local high street.  Supermarkets used to offer fresh yeast for free from their bakery section but this seems to have stopped.  I have on many occasions in the past bought fresh yeast from my local baker – what always amused me was when I asked for it the shop assistant would have to go into the actual bakery to get it and when she returned the baker himself would appear to give me the once over!  I don’t know whether he was in fear that I might be setting up a rival bakery or the notion that a customer had dared to actually have a go at yeast bakery themselves.  Alas this source has also now dried up.   Which forced me to search on the internet.  I found I could buy fresh yeast online from suppliers of flour but the minimum order premium just didn’t make ordering 100 grams of yeast viable.  The answer in the end turned out to be Ebay.  Which is where I found Paul of Online-bakery.  He offers a brilliant service – order it on a weekday and it arrives through the door the next day.  For me fresh yeast gives a better flavour and is always worth the effort of sourcing.

As soon as the yeast came through my letterbox this weekend, it was straight into the kitchen where I started on the list of yeast recipes I have been itching to make.  Starting with Yorkshire teacakes.

This recipe will make six large teacakes.  It is not compulsory to eat them all in one sitting as they freeze very well.  The best way is to split them and then freeze them.  This way they defrost all the quicker and are ready to pop under the grill for whenever there is a yearning for a toasted teacake and a cup of tea.

Yorkshire Teacakes


1 lb/ 450g strong white flour

1 level tsp salt

1 oz/ 30g butter

1 oz/ 30g caster sugar

½ oz /15g fresh yeast

½ pint/285ml lukewarm milk

2 oz/60g currants or sultanas

Extra milk for brushing the tops


Place flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter.  Being lazy I use a small food processor.  I put a small quantity of the flour in with the butter, whiz to create a breadcrumb effect and then add to the rest of the flour in the bowl.

Add the sugar and sultanas (or currants).

Stir the yeast with the warm milk until blended, add to the flour mixture.

Mix to a firm dough and knead for about 10 minutes.  The dough should be smooth and elastic.

Cover and leave to rise until double in size in a warm place.

Lightly flour the work surface, knead again and divide into 6 equal sized pieces. I weigh the entire dough and then divide the number by six.

Roll into balls, flatten with the palm of your hand and put onto greased baking trays.  I find I need two trays – three Yorkshire teacakes to each.

Brush tops with milk.  Cover and leave to rise until almost double in size.

Bake in centre of the oven at 400F/Gas Mark 6 for 20 mins

The teacakes should be golden brown when ready.  If the Yorkshire teacakes don’t slide off straight away leave on the baking tray for five minutes and then remove, the extra time tends to help them to unstick.

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