Episode 3: Nice buns, hun! Yorkshire tea cakes and Cornish saffron buns

Saffron buns fresh from the oven. (Sorry for poor photography, I usually ask my partner to take photos for me!)
Inside a fluffy saffron bun, with melted pools of butter!

In this episode Kate talked a LOT about Regula Ysewijn’s book Oats in the North, Wheat From the South: A history of British baking, savoury and sweet. Its US title is The British Baking Book. It’s a wonderful book that makes a great present for anyone who likes British baking. If you are Kate’s mother, do not buy this for yourself. No reason – definitely nothing to do with Christmas!

This is the spiced teacakes recipe that Kate mentioned: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/spiced_teacakes_29429

Yorkshire Tea Cakes (adapted from a recipe by Regula Ysewijn)

Mix 8g instant/ fast action yeast, 300ml whole milk, 500g strong white flour, 60g sugar, 1 egg, the zest of 1 orange (optional) and 30g softened butter in a bowl. (I do this with a fork, or better yet a dough whisk.) Cover and leave to “autolyse” (a posh word for the flour soaking up moisture) for 30 minutes or so.

Knead the dough until it is nearly passing the windowpane test. Add 5g salt (less if using salted butter) and 100g small currants and knead until well distributed. Cover and leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size. If you’re in a rush you can turn your oven into a proving box by switching it on max for exactly one minute then turning it off and putting the bowl in. In a colder room, this first prove could take between 1 and 2 hours.

Split into ten (I weighed each roll after weighing the big ball of dough). Shape by stretching and pulling in dough, then turnng over. Place onto a lined baking sheet. Cover and rise in a warm place until noticeably puffy. (You could use your oven as a proving box, as above.)

With the rolls on the side out of the oven, preheat the oven to 210C / 190 fan/ gas 6.5 / 410F. Mix an egg with a splash of milk. Brush the rolls with the egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes. Best enjoyed warm from the oven or toasted with butter or clotted cream. (Or butter and cheese?!)

Cornish Saffron Buns (adapted from a recipe by Regula Ysewijn)

Grind 2 pinches / 0.5tsp / 0.2g saffron threads in a pestle and mortar. Mix with 100ml warm (NOT HOT) whole milk.

Add 500g strong white flour, 60g sugar, 50g softened butter, 8g instant/ fast-action yeast, 225ml warm whole milk (again, not hot) and the saffron milk to a bowl. Mix with a fork. Cover and leave to autolyse for 30 minutes.

Knead until bouncy (it really won’t take much). Add 5g salt (less if using salted butter), 50g candied citrus peel, 100g small currants and 5g caraway seeds (if wanted).

Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. If you’re in a rush you can turn your oven into a proving box by switching it on max for exactly one minute then turning it off and putting the bowl in. In a colder room, this first prove could take between 1 and 2 hours.

Split into ten (I weighed each roll after weighing the big ball of dough). Shape by stretching and pulling in dough, then turnng over. Place onto a lined baking sheet. Cover and rise in a warm place until noticeably puffy. (You could use your oven as a proving box, as above.)

With the rolls on the side out of the oven, preheat the oven to 210C / 190 fan/ gas 6.5 / 410F. Mix one egg yolk with a splash of milk. Brush the rolls with the egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes. Best enjoyed warm from the oven or toasted with butter or clotted cream.

Published by Kate

Home baker and now podcaster!

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