Selkirk is a town somewhere in the Scottish Borders. I’m not entirely sure where. I’ve heard it’s lovely but I’ve never been there and I know only two things about it. 1.) It’s the home-town of my friend and the artist who designed my banner, Faye Anderson. She’s an extremely talented artist. Animal lovers, you may want to check out her work here. And 2.) I have this town to thank for my favourite tea loaf.
Selkirk Bannocks are enormous fruit loaves which were traditionally made with leftover bread dough. In Scotland (and possibly the rest of the UK?) we call this type of enriched, sweet bread a “tea loaf”. I’m guessing this is because a slice of this spread with butter or jam or both would typically be eaten with a cup of tea mid-morning or afternoon. It makes a lovely breakfast too though.
I tend to make a smaller loaf than is traditional as there are only two of us in the house. That said, it keeps well for a couple of days and can be eaten toasted for a good few days after that.
450g bread flour
Pinch of salt
1 tspn dried active yeast
30g caster sugar
250ml luke warm milk
75g butter, cut into cubes and softened
1 small egg, beaten
- Add the yeast and sugar to the warm milk and stir. Leave for 15 mins until yeast froths slightly.
- Meanwhile, add flour and salt to a large bowl.
- Stir the yeasty milk into the flour and stir to form a sticky dough. Knead well for 10 mins adding a little more flour if necessary.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour or until dough has doubled in size.
- Remove dough from the bowl and pull out into a flat shape. Gradually add a little of the butter and some of the sultanas and knead through thoroughly. Repeat until all the butter has been amalgamated and the sultanas and evenly spread through the dough. This is a sticky, greasy process. It does amalgamate eventually, I promise!
- Shape dough into a ball and place on a floured baking sheet. Cover with a big bowl that won’t touch the dough and leave in a warm place to double in size again.
- Meanwhile heat the oven to 180oC.
- When dough is risen, brush generously with the egg glaze. Place in the oven and bake for 45 mins or until golden all over and hollow sounding.
- Cool and serve sliced and smeared with butter and/or jam.