Bread week, not my favourite of the challenges faced on The Great British Bake Off, but one I haven’t yet completely flunked.
This week I was really chuffed that someone other that Steven got star baker, though I did see a great meme comparing the infamous bread lion vs Julia’s umm, interestingly shaped snail…
Until this week, I’d been thinking that perhaps the standards were higher this year than every before, but the teacakes, cottage loaves and coloured structures told me otherwise.
I was also quite sad that Flo went, she was obviously one of the most skilled bakers from cake week, and her biscuits weren’t that bad compared to other people. Ahh well, sometimes I guess it’s luck of the draw for them as to which order the themes come in.
As I had another busy weekend planned, with some of my oldest friends visiting, I decided to go for a simple bake that meant I could be mostly out of the kitchen, and that we could all enjoy together (shame it landed on bread week really, a giant cake would have been more fun for afternoon tea!). Therefore, I baked sultana and cherry teacakes with cinnamon butter.
The process of making was actually really simple, 500g bread flour mixed with yeast, sugar, salt and spices, then left to prove for anywhere between 1-3 hours according to Paul’s very own teacake recipe. My error may have been that actually I’d made these in the morning, followed by adventures around Rame head, Cawsand and Kingsand, and therefore actually that first prove was probably closer to 5 hours or so. Still, they’d definitely doubled in size – and the rest! (Not to mention, maybe slightly cooking on the bottom where the warming plate of the oven had been a bit too hot…!!). Next, you add in your dried fruit to your teacakes, divide and shape them, then leave to prove again before brushing with egg and baking for about 15 mins.
The looked like teacakes, they smelled delicious, filling the whole house with the scent of fresh bread + christmas spice, they tasted really good. After our windy walk, and getting utterly drenched from the rain, we had a civilised afternoon tea- post Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit- sat around out living room, slathering hot teacakes with sweet cinnamon butter. Polished off with cups of tea from the lovely teapot my mum made for us, it was a pretty great way to spend a Saturday!
Would I make teacakes again?
Yes, I’m pretty sure I would, but next time maybe making them on a day when I am home as avoiding the first overprove and second underprove may perhaps make them a little more risen. Though ultimately I am not at all worried as they still tasted exactly as they should and can therefore be counted as another successful Bake Off Bake Along to tick off the list!
P.S who is SO excited for caramel week tomorrow?!?! I LOVE idea of this theme….she says, until she sees the actually challenges…until next Monday!