In a previous post (http://www.porridgelady.com/?p=1314) I mentioned that this seasons food trend is tipped to be is all about retro baking. When getting out my recipe folder to find my instructions for scone baking I came across a page marked up ‘Devonshire Splits’. I’d made a little note on the page saying “a retro Devon version of a scone”. Now If the scone is doyenne of vintage afternoon teas then I’m making a retro claim on behalf of the Devonshire Splits. All puffy and split to contain jam and cream these are a classic tea time delight.
The split is what I call a sweet bun, yeasted and enriched with butter but very light. They are best made with a fine white flour, I used the Oxford Bread Group stoneground fine flour;
Recipe – Devonshire Splits
Makes – about 10 big splits
10g of fresh yeast (you can used dried too)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 pint of warm water (not too hot or you will kill the yeast)
60g of butter
5 tablespoons of milk
500g of fine white flour
Little extra flour for dusting the working surface when kneading.
Jam and cream to serve
- Pour the warm water into a pyrex jug
- Stir in the yeast and sugar and leave for a few minutes. The mixture may develop a froth, this is fine.
- Warm the butter with the milk in a saucepan, until the butter melts. Do not let this boil.
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast water, milk and butter.
- Bring the mixture together with the tips of your fingers. The mixture should start to feel like a dough, add a little more milk if needed but the mixture should not be sticky.
- Dust the work surface, turn the dough out and knead vigorously for 5-8 minutes. Knead like bread, don’t be too precious as it’s a robust dough!
- Then return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and place somewhere warm for 1hr.
- Then knead the dough again.
- Divide dough into 10 equal portions and shape into balls.
- Grease a baking tray and place the balls on, making sure there is plenty of room between each as they will expand during baking.
- Set aside the baking tray for about 15mins until they have risen a little.
- Then place into a hot oven at 200C and cook for 10 minutes
- Turn the tray if necessary and reduce heat to 180C cooking for a further 10 minutes or until the splits are well risen and a golden brown colour.
- Split, fill with jam and cream and serve warm.
The Devonshire Splits are definitely best served fresh. In fact I found that they really did not keep. So if you only need a few Splits, reduce the ingredient quantities, bake and enjoy them fresh.