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Oast Cakes


Dough balls of white wheat flour, with lard, currants and sugar, raised with either baking powder or yeast, shallow fried. Also known in a flattened form.

Oast houses are the brick buildings in which hops are dried, and oast cakes are reported to have been a lunchtime treat for the itinerant hop pickers.

See also: Kentish Hop Picker's Cake

Oast House near Parsonage Farm, Salehurst
Image: Oast House Archive

Original Receipt from Rishton Cricket Club (Ladies Section) Recipes, 1955

8oz. plain flour
1oz. sugar
1 level teaspoon baking powder
3oz. currants
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3oz. Spry [In the 1950s, a semi-solid vegetable fat, not the 'Crisp-n-Dry' oil of the 1970's - Ed.]
5 tablespoons water

Sieve the flour, baking powder add salt. Rub in 2oz. Spry. Add the sugar and currants, and mix to a soft dough with the lemon, juice and water. Shape with the fingers into small pieces and roll into rounds ¼" thick on a floured board. Fry on both sides in remaining 1oz. Spry, adding a little at a time until golden brown (about 6-8 minutes). Eat hot instead of scones at teatime. Makes 18-20 Oast Cakes.

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