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Northumberland Girdle Cakes


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."

The original source of this receipt isn't known. Can you help?

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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