You probably have more time for baking while you’re self-isolating, and these traditional British sweet treats and savory snacks are a great (and tasty) way to hone your skills. Just be warned that looking at them could make your mouth water.
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This traditional Scottish biscuit dates back to the 12th century, when leftover bread dough would be sweetened and dried in the oven to make a rusk. The recipe developed over the centuries to incorporate a large amount of butter, which made them more of a luxury item – Mary, Queen of Scots is said to have enjoyed a few fingers of shortbread. Today, a classic shortbread biscuit is made with just three ingredients – flour, butter, and sugar – and you can find a simple recipe here.
2. Welsh cakes
Imagine a sweet, buttery cross between a pancake and a scone and you’re close to a Welsh cake. As the name suggests, they hail from Wales, and date back to the 19th century when they’d be served as an afternoon treat or popped into a miner’s lunchbox for sustenance – for this reason, they’re sometimes referred to as “Welsh miners’ cakes.” They’re also sometimes known as “griddle cakes” because they’re cooked on a griddle – check out a recipe here.
3. Victoria sponge cake
You might recognize this large, layered cake from The Great British Baking Show, where it’s been featured twice. It’s named after Queen Victoria, who’s said to have enjoyed a slice as a teatime treat, and traditionally filled with cream and strawberry jam. Mary Berry‘s recipe is available here – just make sure you follow it closely because the secret to a great Victoria sponge is super-precise timing.
4. Yorkshire puddings
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Meliz Cooks Yorkshire Puddings. I honestly can’t believe how many of you have made and frozen my Yorkies this year – I’ve loved it. If you haven’t made them yet, you can still get ahead by making them today and freezing them. Just take them straight out of the freezer and pop in the oven for 4-5 mins to heat up just before serving your Christmas dinner tomorrow. Crispy, light, perfect, and as if you’ve just cooked them. MAKES 12 200ml milk 4 medium eggs 100g plain flour Good pinch salt METHOD Preheat oven to 230C (fan). In a large measuring jug, whisk together the milk and eggs, then add the plain flour. Whisk until no lumps are visible, then pop in the fridge for at least an hour. When the oven is hot, fill each round of a muffin tray with 3/4 tsp sunflower oil making sure you also grease the sides so that you can easily pop out the Yorkshire puddings when they’re cooked. Pop the tray in the oven for 15-20 mins until oil is smoking – leave a little longer if necessary. Take the pudding mixture out of the fridge, give it another whisk, then carefully take out muffin tray and quickly pour in equal measures of the mixture into each round – the batter should really sizzle. Quickly pop back into the oven on the middle shelf, turn down to 190C (fan) and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR until the Yorkshire puddings are cooked, which should take 25-30 mins. Take them STRAIGHT out of the muffin tray as soon as the tray is out of the oven and serve immediately or allow to cool, pop in freezer bags and into the freezer for when you next cook a roast, and just take out and reheat (no need to defrost), at 190C for 8-10 mins, while everyone is getting ready to sit down at the table. – – – #familydinner #yorkshirepudding #yorkshirepuddings #yorkshirepuds #homecooks #homecook #comfortfood #roastdinner #melizcooks #imsomartha #familyfoodtribe #sundaydinner #lovetocook #foodislife #feedfeed #recipeoftheday #todayfood #foodislife #familydinner #buzzfeedfood #londonfoodie #foodie #thenewhealthy #foodwinewomen #inmykitchen #foodstories #f52grams #melizcooksyorkies #familyfood #melizcooksyorkies
A Yorkshire pudding is savory, not sweet, and served as a side dish with a traditional Sunday roast dinner. If it’s baked well, the pudding will have a crispy exterior but stay light and airy on the inside. Another popular way of enjoying Yorkshire pudding is to serve it as a traybake with sausages – this dish is commonly (and cutely) known as “toad-in-the-hole.”
5. Eccles cakes
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St John’s Bakery, Neals Yard Eccles cake: £3 I can’t say I’m someone who particularly loves or can appreciate an Eccles cake. It’s not a bake that strikes me as particularly interesting but I’m more than willing to keep trying them. Hidden beneath layers of golden flaky pastry is a paste-like textured spiced filling. It’s sticky and thick but not completely smooth, retaining some of the texture of the dried currants. Again it is on the sweeter side for me though. My parents really liked it!
These small round cakes are made from flaky pastry and filled with currants – they’re often topped with sugar, as this recipe suggests. They originate from the town of Eccles in Greater Manchester, where a man named James Birch first sold them from his shop in 1793. According to the local council, Eccles cakes became so popular that by 1818, they were being exported to the U.S. and the Caribbean islands.
6. Hot cross buns
These sweet, spiced buns were traditionally served on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent, but today, you can buy them in any British supermarket in the lead-up to Easter. In recent years loads of trendy variations have cropped up – British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal developed an “Earl Grey and mandarin” hot cross bun for supermarket chain Waitrose a few years ago. For a more classic recipe, turn to the ever-reliable Mary Berry.
7. Pork pies
British pork pies are made from a dense hot water crust pastry to preserve the meat filling – for the same reason, the pork is usually surrounded by a layer of savory jelly. The town of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire is well known for its signature pork pies made with a hand-formed crust – for a pie to be sold as a “Melton Mowbray pork pie,” it must have been made within 10.8 miles of the town center. In some parts of the East Midlands, there’s a tradition of eating pork pies for breakfast at Christmas, but these mini ones are more manageable as an afternoon snack.
8. Scotch eggs
No one quite knows where the Scotch egg originated, but fancy London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented them in the mid-1700s as a traveler’s snack. The classic version comprises a whole boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, then coated in bread crumbs and baked or deep-fried. Local variations include the so-called “Manchester egg,” which uses a pickled egg and adds black pudding to the mix. If you want to try making a traditional one, this recipe keeps it simple.
9. Bread and butter pudding
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Bread and butter pudding with a cheeky tot of rum added to the custard, made from a gifted panettone that we didn't get around to eating over the festive period. Is it just me or has today had a very 'Monday' feel to it? I'm looking forward to a second serving of this and then taking my grumpy self off to bed. . . . . . . . . #tomorrowisanotherday #freshstart #mondaymood #breadandbutterpudding #panettone #pudding #oldschoolpud #tastingtable #cakingandbaking #rum #raisins #custard #winterbaking #imadethis #afternoonteatime #foodphotograph #simpleanddelicious #eattheseasons #foodphotography #sweetcuisines #whatsfordessert #chillydayfood #sweettooth #thebakefeed #puddingtime
This popular British dessert is thrifty as well as delicious because it’s customary to use stale bread that might otherwise be thrown away. You make a classic bread and butter pudding by layering slices of buttered bread in an oven dish, scattering them with raisins, then pouring a spiced egg custard over the top. These days, there are all kinds of quirky variations – some people even use brioche instead of bread, though Nigella Lawson likes to keep it classic.
10. Sausage rolls
It’s believed that the modern-day sausage roll actually originated in France, but became popular in London during the 19th century Napoleonic Wars. Now considered a quintessentially British snack, U.K. fast food chain Greggs was selling 2.5 million of them every week before the Coronavirus crisis. If you fancy making your own, this recipe for mini sausage rolls requires just five ingredients.
Which is your favorite British baked food item?Read More