Add in order to mixing pan:
1 ¾ Teaspoon…. Fast Yeast
200g……………….. Organic Light Malthouse Flour
400g….....………… Organic White Flour No.4 (or your own preference of flours)
40g…………..……… Soft Brown Sugar
30g…………..……… Light Olive Oil
2 Teaspoon………. Salt
1………………………. Medium Size Egg
200g………………… Tepid Water
Add after raisin beep:
100g…………………. Cognac Raisins
Add to each teacake as you shape it:
5 or 6………………. Chocolate Buttons
1. Fill a clean jam jar almost to the top with raisins. Cover the raisins with cognac (or a brandy) and leave to soak for at least 24 hours. As with fruit cake this plumps up the fruit and really improves the end result. I use Remy Martin – yes I know this is probably a bit over the top for cooking with – but it’s what I have to hand. I am sure a cheap supermarket brandy will do almost the same job. I always keep a jar in (or three) of raisins soaking in cognac – they are excellent in so many recipes and great to have on hand. Also the quantity of alcohol in the cognac naturally preserves them.
2. Add the ingredients shown above to the mixing pan and put it on a raisin dough cycle. I know this can be done by hand but I find using a bread machine to mix the dough and then finishing bread by hand to give superb results. It also lets the machine do the hard work instead of me.
3. At the raisin beep add 100g of the cognac raisins. (I don’t use the auto raisin dispenser as they are a bit too sticky for it).
Tip - Take the raisins out of the cognac with a fork as to minimise the amount of cognac in the dough. My jar of cognac raisins just keeps getting topped up ready for next time.
Tip 2 – After refilling the jar with cognac and raisins four or five times the remaining liquid is an excellent raisin liqueur. Two recipes for one! :o)
4. When the dough is ready turn it out onto a well floured surface and then oil your hands a little.
Note – this is a little more sticky than normal doughs.
5. Roughly turn it in the flour and flatten a little to make cutting it easier. Using a dough knife separate it into twelve equal parts.
6. Put one of the dough portions in the palm of your hand. stick 5 or 6 chocolate buttons in the top and form a ball by pulling dough from the sides and pushing into the middle. This isn’t MasterChef – I am pretty rough when I do this. They don’t need to look perfect to taste fantastic!
7. Place on a baking tray covered with floured grease proof paper. Transfer to a warm humid location until doubled in size.
Tip – See my dough raising method below.
8. When ready cook in a preheated oven for 13-15 minutes. I use the non-fan setting at 200oC.
9. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
10. Toast – Butter - Enjoy!
Dough Raising Method:
I thought I would add this tip on how I raise my dough to this recipe. It’s the method I use for nearly all my bread these days, not just teacakes. Over the years I have tried lots of different methods but used to get inconsistent results. The temperature of my house on a given day tended to dictate the quality of the rise. As I bake bread almost every day this was causing me a real problem. This method removes the uncertainty for me.
Some time ago I purchased a couple of microwavable stone hot plates (shown in one of the pictures). They are a more recent version of the ones that you used to get in Chinese restaurants with little candles in. As a hotplate I never really used them until one cold day I thought I would give them a try to add some warmth to my rising dough. To create a protected environment, I placed a large plastic box over them and my shaped dough already on a baking tray. I use a thin heat mat to protect the bottom of the dough getting to hot. To add a little extra warmth and a bit of humidity I also place a mug filled with boiling water under the box. I have found this to be a really simple and consistent way to rise my dough perfectly every time. No messing about with damp cloths or greased clingfilm. No putting the central heating on just to keep your dough warm. Give it a go and let me know if it works for you.
Photo note - On the day I took the photos I had run out of Malthouse Flour so had used a seeded mix instead. Just in case someone with eagle eyes notices some seeds in my pictures. :o)