lethargic_man: (Default)
A while ago, [personal profile] liv posted about how she was going to start trying to bake, and would blog the result. I replied in a comment:
I should use this post as a kick to jumpstart my plan of trying to make teacakes: something I miss as none of the kosher bakeries around here make them. (Also something I'd like to introduce [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m to.)
[personal profile] liv replied "Ooh, home-made teacakes, that sounds an excellent idea! Do write it up if you get round to doing that, it would be really interesting to know how it goes."

My initial plan to do so got derailed into making malt bread instead; I finally got around to making teacakes a couple of weeks ago, but left it so late on a Sunday afternoon that it would have been dinner time by the time they were ready, so I bunged them in the freezer, and only got to taste them this weekend.

I followed this recipe, which was good as far as it went, but I think next time I try doing this I shall try incorporating bits from this one as well, in particular the use of orange zest.

This was actually the first time I have ever baked with yeast (barring one assisted challah-making session when I was eight); I expected problems this first time around which I would then learn from for in future. Actually the only problem was that the recipe made considerably smaller teacakes than I was expecting. I thought maybe I hadn't left them to rise enough, or the room the dough was in wasn't warm enough; does this make much of a difference? Or maybe the problem was that the yeast was three and a half months old by the time I came to use it; would this be a problem given that it's dried yeast?

At any rate, the teacakes turned out small and hard on the outside, and I thought they'd be stodgy rather than fluffy enough on the inside, but they actually had the right consistency, and were delicious toasted. The only consequence of their being small was that I ended up having twice the number I would otherwise have, eating one with honey on marge, and the other with instead the maple butter my brother gave me as a present from Montreal.

Baking: Malt bread

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 12:31 pm
lethargic_man: (Default)
A little while ago, [personal profile] liv posted about how she was going to start trying to bake, and would blog the result. I replied in a comment:
I should use this post as a kick to jumpstart my plan of trying to make teacakes: something I miss as none of the kosher bakeries around here make them. (Also something I'd like to introduce [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m to.)
[personal profile] liv replied "Ooh, home-made teacakes, that sounds an excellent idea! Do write it up if you get round to doing that, it would be really interesting to know how it goes." So here's my report.

Only I didn't make teacakes in the end. I intended to a week and a half ago on Sunday, but it was hot and sunny so I went to the park instead, and then, seeing that the forecast for last weekend was going to be hot too, I thought I'd make what my family has always called malt bread (but the rest of the world calls malt loaf—possibly it's another north/south thing?) instead, as that could be enjoyed cold, in the park.

I had a poke around online for different recipes, and after looking at two or three, chose this one, on the grounds that it involves soaking the dried fruit in hot black tea, which I thought would appeal to [personal profile] liv (and also nicely solves the question of whether it should be הַמּוֹצִיא or מְזוֹנוֹת).

And the result: Very nice indeed, though perhaps slightly less malty and a lighter colour to how I remember it, and I think it would have benefitted from smaller and perhaps less fruit (currants rather than raisins). Although the reaction of [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m and [livejournal.com profile] curious_reader (both foreigners) afforded an answer to the question on the recipe page:
This malt loaf is absolutely delicious served cold with a scraping of butter. It really doesn’t need the butter but then again – what has need got to do with it?
Answer: Putting butter on it, and calling it malt loaf/bread helps us Brits convince ourselves that it's a species of bread product, and not actually a fruit cake!

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