Soft soda-raised wheatflour dough made with fat and milk, with currants, cut into small rounds and baked on a flat girdle. Served hot, split open with butter.
Richard Heslop's 'Northumberland Words' of 1894 gives a definition of 'back-sticks, or, bake-sticks' as "a triangular frame of wood or iron, resembling a small easel, with a prop at the back, for holding girdle cakes in front of the fire to finish the baking, or sometimes to warm an old cake."
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Northumberland Girdle Cakes
1 lb self rising flour
1 tsp salt
8 oz butter
4 oz sugar
4 oz currants
2 eggs, beaten
5 oz milk
Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the dough resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and currants. Make a well in the centre then add the beaten eggs and the milk. Stir the mixture with a finger until well-combined.
On a lightly floured surface slightly knead the dough. Roll out approximately 1.5cm thick.
Cut out small rounds and bake the rounds on a well greased frying pan or griddle until golden brown on both sides.
Serve hot with butter.
See: Cumberland Girdle Cakes, Brautins
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