A traditional Yorkshire teacake is totally moreish. It has a dark, well baked crust and is best eaten fresh on the day of baking but totally delicious toasted the next day and served warm with lashings of butter. This recipe is sufficient for 12 - 14 teacakes though I tend to take out 300g or so of the dough and bake in a llb loaf tin to slice and toast later or use in a bread and butter pudding. I usually make about 8-9 teacakes and a loaf.
In the bowl of a table top mixer fitted with a dough hook place first the yeast then the flour and then the rest of the ingredients minus the tepid water. With the machine on its lowest setting bring the mixture together to a rough shaggy mix. The dough should look very shaggy , sticky and wet. If it has formed into a ball and is stuck to the dough hook then add the water. Once your dough looks sticky then you can turn up the power of your machine and allow the dough hook to pull and stretch. After about 8-10 minutes the dough will leave the sides of the bowl, will be smooth and stretchy. Take from the bowl and shape into a smooth ball by hand.
Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with a shower cap and then leave to rise in a warm place for 1.5 to 2 hours. It will double in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl and if you have decided to make a fruit loaf, cut out 300g of dough, shape and place into a well greased 1 lb loaf tin (or brush with lining paste) and leave to prove, covering the tin with the shower cap for 50 minutes.
Shape the remainder of the dough into equal sized balls – about 75g is a good size. A Yorkshire teacake is flat rather than round so after shaping into a ball roll flat with a rolling pin and place onto a baking sheet and leave to prove in a warm place for 50 minutes until doubled in size. I use the oven with just the electric light on. If your kitchen is warm (around 25 degrees) then simply cover with a light tea towel and leave to prove.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c (fan)
After proving bake the Tea Loaf for 25 minutes until golden and the teacakes for 15-18 minutes until golden. Whilst still hot a used butter paper rubbed over will give your teacakes a shiny non-sticky glaze.
Delicious buttered on the day of baking then afterwards toasted.
Tip – the tea loaf can be frozen before proving. Place the tin filled with the dough in a freezer bag then when ready to use take from the freezer, cover with a shower cap and leave to thaw at room temperature for 5-6 hours until the dough thaws, doubles in size and can then be baked as per the method above.
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