The Hairy Bikers share their recipe for this traditional teatime treat - far superior to anything shop-bought.
375g/13oz strong white bread flour
½ tsp sea salt flakes, lightly crushed
7g/¼oz sachet fast-action dried yeast
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ orange, zest only
50g/1¾oz caster sugar
50g/1¾oz butter, cubed
150ml/5fl oz semi-skimmed milk
1 free-range egg, beaten
125g/4½oz mixed dried fruit
2 tsp sunflower oil, for greasing
butter, for serving
Mix the flour, salt, yeast, spices, orange zest and sugar in a large bowl.
Put the butter and milk in a small saucepan and heat very gently until the butter is melted and the milk is just lukewarm. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the warm butter, milk and egg. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball.
Turn out on a very lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes to form a smooth, pliable dough. Knead the fruit into the dough until evenly distributed, then place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for 1½ hours, or until doubled in size and spongy to touch.
Knead the dough lightly, divide into six portions and roll into balls. Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball to a circle about 1cm/½in thick and place on a large baking tray lined with baking parchment. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for a further 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Remove the clingfilm and bake the teacakes in the centre of the oven for 15-18 minutes, or until well risen and golden-brown. Serve warm or leave to cool on a wire rack, then toast and serve spread thickly with butter. Eat within 24 hours to enjoy them at their best.
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