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Yorkshire Cakes

My great-great-grandmother Ann Vickerman started her working life at Sledmere House near Malton. When she married, her friend, Mary Harrington, who was the cook, gave her a cookery book as a wedding present.The book was 'A New System of Domestic Cookery' by Maria Eliza Rundell. It was first published in 1806 and her copy, which has now come down to me, is the 1840 edition. In the chapter on 'Bread' there is a recipe for something described as Yorkshire Cakes. Unlike modern cookbooks there are no illustrations and much of it is written on the basis that the reader will know what to do! Things such as 'cook in a slow oven' do not translate well to a modern hi-tech oven. With a certain amount of trial and error and filling in the blanks I have reconstructed what I think these were. I cannot find any other recipe for these or mention of them elsewhere. As a proud Yorkshireman I could not let this part of the county's heritage be forgotten. Essentially, it is an enriched dough bread bun, or as we call them in West Yorkshire 'teacake'. Great for lunchtime sandwiches, or a BLT and something really unique to bring out for the summer BBQ.

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Ingredients

2lb Shipton Mill Stoneground Organic White Flour

4oz butter (unsalted)

1 pint of luke warm milk

3 level teaspoons of dried yeast

2 medium eggs

1 teaspoon sugar

3 teaspoons of salt

Method

Add the yeast and sugar to half of the milk and leave in a warm place until it has started to froth, showing that the yeast is working.

Mix the salt into the flour.

Melt the butter in the other half of the milk.

Lightly beat the eggs and add them to the flour with the two milk mixtures. This will produce quite a wet dough which may need to be worked for a little while in the bowl, before being turned out onto a floured surface and kneaded until a good elastic dough is achieved. This will take 5 - 10 minutes.

Place into a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Knock back and form into 4oz balls which should be placed on a greased baking tray and covered with towels. Allow to rise for a further hour.

Bake at gas mark 4/160 degrees (fan) for about 25 minutes until lightly browned on top. I know that this is cooler that usual, however the original recipe calls for 'a slow oven' and so I have based this on the temperatures for brioche and it seems to work.

Glaze the tops of the cakes with melted butter whilst still warm and allow to cool on a wire cooling tray.

Added by: Rodney Noon


Tags: Cake

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