Selkirk Bannocks

These traditional Scottish fruit loaves make a delicious accompaniment to tea or coffee and may be spread with butter if desired.



½ oz. fresh yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

16 fl. oz. plus

2 tablespoons lukewarm milk

12- lb. flour

½ teaspoons salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 oz. plus

2 teaspoons butter, softened

4 oz. vegetable fat, softened

8 oz. castor sugar

8 oz. sultanas or seedless raisins

4 oz. currants

4 oz. candied orange peel, finely chopped

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in 1 teaspoon of the sugar with a kitchen fork. Add the 2 tablespoons of milk and cream the milk and yeast to-gether to form a smooth paste. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 to 20 minutes or until the yeast is puffed up and frothy.

Sift the flour, the remaining sugar and the salt into a warmed, large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast, the remaining lukewarm milk and the beaten egg. Using your hands or a spatula, gradually draw the flour into the liquid. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated. With a wooden spoon, beat the mixture for a further 5 minutes.

Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and set it aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to U hours or until the dough has risen and has almost doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, grease two 1!-pound loaf tins with the 2 teaspoons of butter and set them aside.

Remove the damp cloth from the bowl and, using a wooden spoon, beat in the remaining softened butter and the vegetable fat until the ingredients are well blended.

Add the castor sugar, sultanas or seed-less raisins, currants and peel and stir the mixture until it is thoroughly combined. Turn the mixture out on to a lightly floured board or marble slab and knead it for 5 minutes, reflouring the surface if the Selkirk Bannocks are a famous Scot-tisli sweet bread, made with mixed fruit. Serve with plenty of butter. dough becomes sticky. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Divide the dough in half and shape the pieces into loaf shapes. Place the loaves in the prepared loaf tins. Cover with a damp cloth and place the tins in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 ‘F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

Place the tins in the centre of the oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centres of the mixtures comes out clean and the bannocks are golden brown on top.

Remove the tins from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Turn the bannocks out on to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

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