Comments Off on BAKING CLASSICS: | September 29, 2019


Ingredients: 200g (7oz) medium oatmeal 50g (2oz) plain flour, sifted 75ml (2½fl oz) boiling water 40g (1½oz) softened vegetable cooking fat or butter 1 level teaspoon honey or sugar Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas 4. Lightly oil two baking sheets or a round (8 inch) or rectangular (7 × 11 inch) baking tin.

Method: Put the oatmeal and flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Measure the boiling water into a pan and cut up the fat into small pieces. Add the fat to the boiling water and heat (this can also be heated in the microwave). Add honey or sugar and pour all the liquid into the dry ingredients. Mix until it forms a soft pliable dough, adding more boiling water if it is too stiff. It should not crack when rolled out.

Either divide the dough into three pieces. While still hot, roll thinly into two rounds about 18cm (7 inch) diameter. Cut each round into 4 triangles (farls). Place on baking tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until they turn a light, sandy colour. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight tin. Or place the dough in a round or rectangular tin and press out thinly, then spread evenly with a palate knife. Cut into six or eight (squares in the rectangular tin or triangles in the round tin). Bake as for method 1.


Ingredients: (6 inch) round shortbread moulds 280g (10oz) plain flour, sifted 55g (2oz) cornflour or rice flour, sifted 110g (4oz) caster sugar, sifted 225g (8oz) butter, softened and cut into small pieces Dredging: caster sugar Preheat the oven to 325°F/150°C/Gas 3. Depth of shortbread for thick fingers 2cm (¾inch). For thin fingers 5mm (¼ inch). Dust baking tin or shortbread mould lightly with flour.

Method:Sift the flours on the work surface. Put the sugar onto the work surface and place the butter on top. Knead all the sugar into the butter, then add a little flour and gradually work into the butter and sugar. Continue adding the flour until the mixture becomes firm and pliable but not too stiff. It should not be difficult to roll out and should not crack. SHAPING THIN FINGERS: Roll the dough out to 5mm (¼ inch) and cut in fingers approx 6.5cm (2½ inch) long and 2.5cm (1 inch) wide. Put onto a baking tin. Mark all over with a fork to prevent rising and rest in a cool place for one hour before baking.

Making fingers:: Roll the dough out into a large square or press into a tin. It should be approximately 2cm (¾ inch) thick. Mark in lengths 7.5cm (3 inch) long and 2.5cm (1 inch) wide. Mark with a fork to prevent rising and rest in a cool place for one hour before baking.

Large Round: Roll the dough out into a large round about 2cm (¾ inch) thick and place on a baking tray. Pinch the edge with first finger and thumb to decorate or use the flat edge of a fork to mark the edge. Mark into triangles and mark all over with a fork to prevent rising. Rest in a cool place for one hour before baking.

BAKING: Bake till evenly golden brown. Thin fingers will take 20-30 minutes, thicker fingers, large round 45-50 minutes. Dredge with sugar while still warm. Remove from the tin and put to cool on a rack.

Mixed Grain Bannock

Ingredients: 125g (4½oz) medium oatmeal 125g (4½oz) barley flour 350g (12oz) wholemeal flour 50g (2oz) wheatgerm 1 heaped teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1 tablespoon heather honey 1 egg 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon salt 425ml (15fl oz) buttermilk or fresh milk soured with the juice of a lemon Oil for greasing

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 450°F/230°C/Gas 8. Grease a baking tray if making round bannock or grease a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin. Put all the meals, the wheatgerm and the bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the honey, egg, oil, salt and buttermilk/soured milk. Mix this together by hand. Once it is well mixed, begin bringing in the flour from the sides. The mixing should be done as quickly as possible and it is important to have a large enough bowl. When the mixture comes together as a soft, but not sloppy, elastic dough it is ready. If it is too stiff the bread will be heavy.

Either shape the dough into a round bannock, divide into four, dust on top with oatmeal or barley flour and bake on a greased baking tray, or put the mixture into a loaf tin or into a pot with a lid, dusting on top with oatmeal or barley flour. Bake the round bannock for 40-50 minutes. The covered loaf will take longer, about an hour. To test, remove from the tin and knock on the base: it will make a hollow sound if ready. Remove and cool thoroughly.

Oven Scones

Ingredients: Either: 225g (8oz) plain flour 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 125ml (4fl oz) buttermilk, or fresh milk soured with the juice of half a lemon or 225 (8oz) plain flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 125ml (4fl oz) fresh milk or 225g (8oz) self-raising cake flour 125ml (4fl oz) milk 50g (2oz) butter or 2 tablespoons oil 1 egg, beaten

Method: Preheat the oven to 450°F/230°C/Gas 8. Grease and flour baking tins. Sift the flour and raising agent into a bowl and rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre and add the milk and egg. Mix to a soft consistency. Dust with flour and knead lightly on a floured working surface. Roll out to 2.5cm (1 inch) thick, either into two rounds with a cutter. Dust with flour and bake till risen and golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

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