Can anyone resist a warm toasted teacake dripping with melted butter? I know I can’t. Home made teacakes (like most things) are far superior to their shop-bought cousins. The fruit is more juicy, the spices are brighter and the texture is less spongy. All in all they make a pretty delicious treat.
I use malt extract in my recipe in place of sugar and really like the extra depth of flavour that it adds. These don’t have the full on sticky richness of something like malt loaf (although that is one of my favourites), there’s just a nice little bit of extra sweetness from the malt.
These are delicious for breakfast or as an afternoon pick-me-up.
350g strong white bread flour
1 sachet fast acting yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
30g malt extract
150g dried fruit (I used sultanas and apricots)
a little flavourless oil
Sift the flour and spices together into a large mixing bowl and then mix through the salt, sugar and yeast with a fork.
Combine the butter, milk and malt extract in a pan and gently warm them a little so that the butter melts (or just do it in the microwave) but don’t let it get too hot.
Add the warm liquid to the dry ingredients, a little at a time, bearing in mind that you may not need all of the liquid, until you have a soft but not sticky ball of dough.
Lightly oil your hands and the work surface and then knead the dough for 5 minutes or so until it becomes smooth and springy.
Wash and dry the mixing bowl (to warm it) and then lightly oil it and a piece of cling film. Place the dough in the bowl, cover it with the cling film and then put it in a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Mix together the fruit, chopping any large fruit so that it is all a similar size. Once the dough has risen scatter the fruit over the surface and start to work it into the dough. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it for a minute or two to ensure that the fruit and air are well distributed through it. Divide the dough into nine even pieces and shape each one into a ball. Place them on a lightly greased baking tray, spaced a little apart and flatten each one slightly. Recover them and put the tray back in a warm place until the buns have doubled in size again. Pre-heat your oven to 200°c.
Brush the teacakes with a little milk and then bake them for 20 minutes, so that they are nice and brown. Leave them to cool on a wire rack and then enjoy them toasted and smothered in butter!