With their crisp, sweet exteriors, light and flaky crumb and spicy, fruit-filled centres, these are high-class lardy cakes.
|For the dough:|
|170ml||milk, plus extra for brushing|
|40g||unsalted butter, cubed|
|About 375g||strong white bread flour|
|2 tbsp||caster sugar|
|9g||fast-action dried yeast (from 2 x 7g sachets)|
|1||small egg, at room temperature|
|For the filling:|
|250g||lard, at room temperature|
|¾ tsp||ground cinnamon|
|150g||dried mixed fruit, soaked in 2 tbsp water|
|caster sugar and ground cinnamon|
You will need 1-3 non-stick 4-hole Yorkshire Pudding tins.
Gently warm the milk with the butter until the butter melts, then set aside to cool to lukewarm. Mix the flour with the salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a large free-standing electric mixer. Whisk the egg into the buttery milk until combined, then add to the bowl. Work the mixture with your hand, or the dough hook attachment, to make a very soft but not sticky dough. If necessary, gradually work in extra flour a tablespoon at a time.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead thoroughly by hand for 10 minutes, or 5 minutes with the dough hook on low speed. Return the dough to the clean bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, mash the soft lard with the sugar and cinnamon on a large plate to make a soft, very spreadable paste. Divide it into 20 (this makes it easier to use later).
Punch down the risen dough to deflate, then divide into 10 equal portions. Shape each into a neat ball. Roll out one of the balls on a lightly floured worktop to a circle about 14cm across. Spread with one portion of the lard mixture (as if you were buttering bread). Fold about one-sixth of the edge of the circle into the centre. Repeat the folding all the way around, rotating the circle, so it becomes a hexagon. Roll out to a 14cm circle again. Repeat with the other 9 balls of dough. Cover the circles with a sheet of clingfilm and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Uncover the circles and spread each with another portion of the lard mixture, then top with the dried fruit mixture (drain off any excess liquid first). Fold the edges of each circle to make hexagons as before.
Place each hexagon, with the side with the folded edges uppermost, into a hole in your prepared tin(s) (you will need 1-3 non-stick 4-hole Yorkshire Pudding tins). Cover lightly with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes until doubled in size. (If you have only one 4-hole tin you can bake in batches; spread the rest of the prepared lardy cakes on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and keep them, lightly covered, in a cool spot so they rise slowly, then bake them in batches in the prepared tin.) Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
Brush the lardy cakes lightly with milk and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Turn off the oven, and quickly open and close the oven door (to let out a bit of heat and steam). Leave the cakes in the oven for 5 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and leave until just warm before eating. Best the same day.