The Great British Bake Off is one my favorite shows, inspiring new bakes, new flavors, and new techniques! Join me on my journey to bake through all the Season 8 Challenges.
Total Cooking Time: 3 hours
The Great British Bake Off is a classic show for bakers and those looking for a friendly competition. All the bakes on the show look delicious and I often want to try baking them myself! I finally got off the couch and into the kitchen to recreate some of the recipes from Bake Off! I chose to start with season eight of Bake Off as it is my favorite season and the one with some of my favorite challenges!
It’s bread week and I cannot be more excited. I love bread. I’m not great at bread but I adore making it. The Signature Challenge for Bread Week is a Teacakes! And I have no idea what a teacake is… and I don’t think I’m alone. It seems that the teacakes made on GBBO is a food specific to Britain. The show defined a teacake as an enriched dough with extra fats, sugar, eggs and fruit. Fruit apparently is a key ingredient.
I didn’t want to make a plain teacake that was just sugar and fruit. I wanted spice. A lot of spice. Maybe too much spice. I ended up adding cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and cardamum into the bread and the dough was pungent. To add another level of depth in flavor, I also added the zest of an orange. So many ingredients!
Prepping the Dry Ingredients
For this recipe, I prepped the dry ingredients in the main mixing bowl. For this recipe, the dry ingredients consisted of flour, salt, yeast, all the spices, sugar, and orange zest. I know that fresh orange zest isn’t exactly a “dry” ingredient, but it blends well into all the other powders. I then made a well in the dry ingredients to prep for where the wet ingredients need to go.
Warming the Wet Ingredients
The milk and butter need to be warmed/melted before being added to the dough. I cooked them together on low until the milk was just warmed and the butter was barely melted. After the butter melted, I quickly added the eggs and whisked them in. You must be fast when whisking the eggs in because you don’t want the eggs to start cooking. The milk shouldn’t be warm enough for this, but I find it better to be safe and work quickly than ruin the batch.
Kneading the Dough
Next, the warm milk mixture is poured into the dry ingredients and mixed in. This can be either done by hand or by using a dough hook attachment of a stand mixer. The same can be said for kneading the dough as well. When I first started making dough, I would knead everything by hand to gain a feeling for the bread. It helped me understand the process, but it was an arduous task. And one that requires a lot of upper body work.
I switched to using a stand mixer once I got a good feel for dough. It helps knowing what to look for and having a feeling of when the kneading process is completed. One I felt the dough was adequately kneaded, I turned it out onto the counter and added the fruit to the dough. This time I hand kneaded the fruit in to make sure it was even distributed. Since I have never added fruit to bread before, I wanted to feel the process in my hands. But you could probably add the fruit by way of the stand mixer as well.
Rise, Shape, and Bake
This dough takes some time to rise because it is considered an enriched dough (see lessons). The first rise will be letting the entire dough ball rise as one until doubled in size. For me, this took about an hour and a half to complete. The dough also remained tight and packed rather than bubbly like a white bread would.
I split the dough into six, roughly similar shaped, balls. To get the (what I understand to be) classic teacake shape, I flattened the balls before putting them on the tray for their final prove. Once again, I wanted the dough to increase until double in size. This step was quicker, probably because each ball has less dough. For me, this only took about forty-five minutes.
Then it’s time to bake! I cooked the teacakes for about twenty-five minutes. The spices made it difficult to tell when the teacakes had completed baking. They looked brown from the start! But, you do want to have an eye out for that baked golden brown especially around the bottom edges. And then all that’s left is to enjoy!
The Rise of an Enriched Dough
I am used to making doughs that do not have ingredients that inhibit the rise. Normally it’s just the classic flour, water, yeast, and salt. That is the bread I’m used to. The rise on an enriched dough generally takes a longer time. And the rise won’t be as explosive because there is a lot more for the yeast to eat. With bread, patience is the key.
- 2 ¾ Cup Bread Flour
- ½ Tsp Salt
- ¾ Tbsp Fast-Action Dried Yeast
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Ground All-Spice
- 1 Tsp Grated Nutmeg
- 1 Tsp Cardamum
- 1 Zest of an Orange
- ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ Cup Butter cubed
- ¾ Cup Milk
- 1 Egg
- 2 Cups Mixed Dried Fruit cherry, cranberries, blueberries
- Oil greasing
- Whisk together flour, salt yeast, spices, orange zest and sugar into mixer bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
- Place butter and milk into a small saucepan. Heat on low until the butter is just melted.
- Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in the eggs quickly.
- Pour warm milk mixture into the well of the flour mixture. Mix in with a dough hook until mixture forms a ball.
- Run dough hook to knead the dough until smooth and pliable. The dough should pass the windowpane test.
- Turnout dough onto a lightly floured surface. Place fruit onto the dough and knead until dough is evenly distributed.
- Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
- Divide dough into six portions and roll into balls. Flatten each ball to a disc.
- Place buns on a large, lined baking tray. Cover and let rise for another45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.