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 teacakes though I normally make a batch of six which uses half of the dough. The other half is shaped, placed in a greased 1 lb loaf tin then frozen. When you fancy something tasty this frozen dough will take 5-6 hours to thaw and prove then bake for 25 minutes.
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 lemon juice. 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 lemon juice. 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 divide into two. Shape one half and place into a well greased 1 lb loaf tin and pop straight into the freezer. (Lining paste is perfect for this)
Shape the remainder of the dough into equal sized balls. 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 for 50 minutes until doubled in size. The teacakes need to be left in a warm place to prove and double 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.
Delicious buttered on the day of baking then afterwards toasted.
If you want to glaze your teacakes with a shiny but non-sticky glaze beat an egg white then add 1 tsp sugar and brush this over the cakes once proved and before baking. Keep an eye on them during baking because with a glaze they can easily over brown.
Tip – the tea loaf can be baked and then frozen once cooled if preferred. If thawing the frozen dough, remove from the freezer bag and thaw in the oven with just the light on for 5-6 hours.
Tip – an alternative glaze for your teacakes is a quick rub with a butter paper as soon as they come out of the oven.
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