No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Monday, 14 February 2011

LARDY CAKE - vegan alternative

There are many versions of lardy cakes, with varying amounts of lard, fruit and sugar. Here is my vegan alternative suggestion, using Pure soya spread.

Chill the shortening in the freezer for 30 minutes before you start, since this will help prevent it melting as you work it into the bread. 

200g strong white flour
2 dessertspoons sugar
100g sultanas
1 teaspoon mixed spice 
1 teaspoon fresh yeast
125ml lukewarm water
2 tbs olive oil 

50-100g Pure soya spread, chilled
1 dessertspoon sugar

Brush with a glaze made with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 dessertspoon boiling water.

1. Measure the water and stir in the fresh yeast. Place the flour, sugar, spice and dried fruit into a mixing bowl and mix to distribute the ingredients. Pour in the yeast liquid and add the olive oil.

2. Have a little water to hand to add if necessary. Remember, it is better for your dough to be wetter (slack) rather than drier (tight). Begin to mix by stirring the ingredients together with a knife, cutting through the dough as it forms. When it gets too stiff for the knife, use your hand to squeeze the mixture together. As it forms into a solid mass, keep turning it over and pressing it down to pick up the flour at the bottom of the bowl – but make sure it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! When all the flour has been mixed in, wipe the bowl around with the dough, turn it out onto the worktop and begin to knead.

3. Knead by stretching the dough out, folding it over, stretching it out and so on and so forth. Do this until it is smooth – or until you get fed up!

4. Form the dough into a cob shape and roll it out into a rectangle a bout the size of an A4 sheet. Slice the Pure thinly and place it over two-thirds of the dough. Sprinkle with one dessertspoon sugar. Fold the other third over then over again. Turn it over so that you can see the join and make sure that the Pure spread is hidden. Using a fair bit of flour, roll out to the size of the original rectangle and fold into three once more. If you want to make it flakier you can roll it and fold it once more.

5. Place on a baking sheet with a decent lip around the edge (to catch any melted fat) and lightly score the top in a diamond pattern.

6. Leave to prove on your worktop until well risen and bake for 15-20 minutes at 220C (gas 7). Look for colour underneath to show that it’s done.

7. Brush with a sugar glaze made with one teaspoon sugar to two of boiling water.

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