The nights are drawing in, making me feel the need for a cosy bake, something to eat when snuggled up on the sofa with a cup of tea. Luckily, I’d also been kindly sent a free sample pack of Jing Earl Grey tea to incorporate in a future bake. And so it was decided – I’d bake teacakes! The Jing tea has a wonderful citrus aroma, more lemon than orange, so I decided to boost this with fresh lemon zest and pair it with sweet rosemary. So why not try my Earl Grey, lemon and rosemary teacakes and enjoy with a hot cuppa this evening?
2 Earl Grey tea bags
1/2 lemon, zest only
Leaves from a sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
250ml whole milk, plus a little to glaze
500g white bread flour
35g caster sugar
7g instant dried yeast
- Brew the tea in approximately 150ml boiling water.
- Mix together the sultanas, zest and chopped rosemary. Pour over the strong tea and leave to soak whilst you prepare the dough (longer if you wish).
- Gently heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the milk is steaming. Set aside to cool until at finger temperature.
- Weigh out the flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a large bowl, ensuring the salt and yeast don’t come into direct contact. Mix the dry ingredients together.
- Strain the tea off the sultana mix and reserve 70ml.
- Add the cooled milk and butter mixture, the 70ml reserved tea and the soaked sultana mix into the dry ingredients.
- Mix everything together to make a dough, then turn it out of the bowl. It’s important not to flour the surface, as this adds extra flour into your dough and will dry it out. The dough will be quite wet and sticky to begin with. You can watch a video showing how to knead a very wet dough here. Knead the dough for 10 – 15 minutes until it becomes smooth and silky.
- Form the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to prove for 1.5 – 2 hours.
- Once proved, turn the dough out of the bowl and divide it into equal pieces of about 100g each.
- Roll each piece into a tightly shaped ball, tucking the sides under and ensuring a smooth surface. Try and tuck any escaping sultanas underneath, otherwise they’ll burn in the oven.
- Place the buns on two lined baking trays, spaced well apart. Use the heel of your hand to flatten the buns down. Cover them with oiled cling film and leave to prove again for at least an hour until they are well risen. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
- Once the buns have risen, remove the clingfilm and glaze them with a little milk. Bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes. I like to turn the trays and swop them between oven shelves halfway through, to ensure an even bake. When fully baked, the buns should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath. Leave to cool slightly before cutting open, toasting and spreading with butter. Enjoy!