Yorkshire Tea Cake
|Compressed yeast/1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar||1⁄8 Tablespoon (1 Cake)|
|Warm milk/Milk and water||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Sifted all purpose flour||4 Cup (64 tbs)|
|Shortening/Butter||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Currants||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)|
|Chopped candied peel||3 Tablespoon|
Prepare the yeast liquid: mix the compressed yeast with the warm liquid until dissolved or dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in the warm liquid and sprinkle in the dry yeast.
Leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until dissolved and frothy.
Mix the flour and salt together and rub in the fat until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the 2 tablespoons sugar and fruits, if used.
Add the yeast liquid to the dry ingredients and mix to form a soft dough, adding extra flour if it is too sticky to handle.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
It will take about 10 minutes by hand or 2-3 minutes with a food mixer and dough hook.
Place the dough in an oiled plastic bag and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours at room temperature, less in a warm place.
Remove from the plastic bag, punch down and knead until the dough is firm, about 2 minutes.
Divide into 6 equal pieces and shape into balls.
Roll each out to a flattened round, 5-6 inches in diameter.
Place on greased baking sheets and brush the tops with milk.
Cover and let rise.
Bake just above the center of a moderately hot oven (400°F) for about 20 minutes.
Turn onto a cake rack and cover with a dish towel before cooling or rub the tops of the teacakes lightly with butter or margarine while still hot to keep the crust soft.
Serve hot or toasted, buttered liberally.