Yorkshire Teacakes

Judging by early recipes, these teacakes are very like the manchet loaves of the Middle Ages. One teacake about five inches (13 cm) across is always served to each person.


  • 1 lb (½ kg) strong flour
  • ½ stick (60 g) butter
  • Two ¼ oz packets (15 g) dried yeast
  • cup (1.5 dl) warm milk
  • 1 well-beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


Warm a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour. Mix the yeast with the warm milk. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the yeast and milk into it. Brush a little flour from the sides of the bowl over the pool of yeast. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to stand in a warm place; that is, before a fire, in an airing cupboard or in the warming drawer of the cooker for 40 minutes or until the yeast has bubbled through the flour.

Add the egg, salt and sugar to the flour and yeast mixture. Stir and knead until you have a dough that will leave the bowl clean. Pat the dough into a ball and leave it in the bowl. Cut a cross in the top.

Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise again for 30 minutes. It should double its size. Punch the dough down and knead lightly. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and make these into round, flat cakes. Put them on baking trays, cover with cloths and leave to rise for a further 10 minutes.

Bake at 350°F (180°C, Gas Mark 4) for 20 minutes. Insert a skewer into the teacakes and if any dough sticks to it, return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Serve hot, split and generously buttered.