Friday, March 07, 2008
When I went out this morning to get bread and newspapers, I was drawn towards a packet of teacakes; the fruity bread type, not the chocolate covered marshmallow on a biscuit type. The packet told me that they had been made in Holland a fortnight ago and were good for another two weeks. I was prepared to believe the first part of the statement, but not the second, and a prod with a stiff finger confirmed my belief. Nevertheless, I felt a yearning for a toasted bun dripping in salty butter, so I picked up a package of fresh yeast from the fridge on my way to the till.
These are the result of my endeavour (minus three tested earlier). Craggy and misshapen they may be, but they went down very well at teatime. I am not an habitual baker these days, so I looked for a recipe. First I looked in Mrs Warnes Cookbook, bought as a wedding present for my mother back in 1943. Take 7lbs of good bread flour...well maybe not. I dallied over Fanny's version, as she was my mentor and taught me all that I know, but in the end, I settled for the next generation's guru of the kitchen; Delia. Her recipe makes a dozen, and is very easy to follow. I substituted my fresh for her dried yeast and storecupboard sultanas for her currants. The Kenwood has been highjacked downstairs, and the Aldi substituted for it is a waste of space when it comes to kneading, but the sun shone in through the snug window and heated up the roofing slate that acts as a table mat, and this proved to be the ideal spot for the fungal growth required...