Sweet rolls studded with apples and sultanas, toasted and slathered in butter – amazing.
Teacakes instantly make me think of the North, and Northern England, specifically Yorkshire is somewhere I am particularly fond of. I’m not suggesting that teacakes aren’t eaten anywhere else in the UK, but I think they are a bit more popular up North.
To me, Teacakes are the all year and bigger equivalent of a hot cross bun. They also don’t have the fiddly cross on the top which makes them easier to make! I usually stock up on hot cross buns at Easter and freeze them so I can have one later in the year when they’re not in the shops, but after making these I can honestly say I won’t do that anymore and I will whip up a batch of these.
I followed the basic recipe by Paul Hollywood but adapted the flavours. I know currants and mixed peel are traditional, but I don’t really like either of these! I decided to adapt the recipe to make my ideal teacake – apple and sultana with the subtle taste of cinnamon. Now before you get worried that the cinnamon will be overpowering, the amount I have included in the recipe is subtle, but if you are worried you can add half the amount instead as I know some people (like my Mum) aren’t too keen on cinnamon. I on the other hand am pretty fanatical about cinnamon and I added nearly 2 teaspoons of it to my dough!
I decided to use dried apple instead of fresh apple because I didn’t want to risk the moisture from the apples giving me a soggy dough. The dried apple worked really well and the flavour combination was exactly what I was hoping for. Just a heads up though, dried apple doesn’t seem to be stocked in all supermarkets, well at least not where I live. I had to go to a large supermarket to get it.
Once the Teacakes have been rolled out and proved, I would recommend poking in any of the fruit which is sticking out above the dough. If not, some of the exposed fruit may get a little black and a blackened sultana is quite bitter!
Usually when you bake bread, eating it the same day and enjoying the freshly baked goodness is essential. However as Teacakes are toasted, they can be enjoyed the next day too. It did feel strange toasting freshly baked bread though, but in my opinion you do have to toast a Teacake. But if you’re like my Dad, he would eat it as it is, maybe that’s because he’s from the South!
500g strong white flour
60g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon (heaped)
10g instant yeast
50g unsalted butter, softened
100g dried apple
1 egg, beaten
- Add the flour into you mixer and add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the sugar, salt and cinnamon to the other. Then add the butter and 225g of the water. Attach the dough hook and mix until the flour starts to get incorporated
- Keep adding the rest of the water until all of the flour is incorporated and a ball of dough is forming. You might need all of the water, or you might need a bit more just make sure you add it slowly so you don’t add too much
- Set the mixer to a medium speed and knead the dough for around 5 minutes. You may need to pull the dough from around the hook if it gets stuck to make sure it keeps getting kneaded. If the dough gets a bit wet and sticky, add a sprinkle of flour
- Once the dough is soft and smooth, put it in clean bowl and cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise until it has at least doubled in size. This could take anywhere between 1 – 3 hours
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Uncover the dough and add the sultanas and apple. Start mixing them into the dough in the bowl before turning the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneading for a minute or so to fully incorporate the fruit
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll into balls. Using a rolling pin roll out each ball until it is around 1cm thick and then place on the lined baking tray. Do this for all 8 balls and put four buns on each tray making sure there is some space around each
- Brush the teacakes with the beaten egg and cover with oiled cling film. Leave for an hour or until they have doubled in size
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC and bake the teacakes (after removing the cling film obviously!) for 10-15 minutes until they are golden and sound hollow when tapped
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