Plant based english tea loaf

tea loaf
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This is a plant based version of the english tea loaf, which is a delicious moist, sweet bread with tea soaked dried fruits. It is traditionally served with a spread of butter and is part of afternoon tea. The tea loaf is served in tearooms and hotels that serve traditional afternoon tea. It is mainly associated with Yorkshire.

It sounds a bit odd to use tea in a cake, however, this type of bread (its more like cake) dates back to wartime days when butter and other dairy products were scarce and other pantry ingredients were used. This plant based version is probably more how they would have made it, self raising flour

Another aspect of this tea loaf is the lack of fat in the recipe which has the consequence of improved keeping qualities and the flavour is considered to improve with time. The cake is moist due to the dried fruits being soaked over night in tea.

This recipe makes enough for 2 – 2lb loaf tins

Begin by making 400 ml of Yorkshire tea (boiling water with 4 tea bags and leave them in and pour into a bowl with the 250gm sultanas and 250gm raisins. give them a quick stir and make sure they are covered in the tea. cover with cling film and leave to soak overnight or at least 5 hours.

In the morning

Pre heat the oven to 170C

In a large mixing bowl sift 300 gm of self raising flour into it.

Add 160 gm of soft brown sugar to the bowl

Add 2 tsp of mixed spice and pinch of salt to the bowl

Add tsp of baking powder to the bowl.

Remove the tea bags from the fruit mixture, which should have some liquid still.

Throughly mix the dry ingredients.

Now scoop the dried fruit mixture out of the liquid and put into the flour and slowly add the liquid (removed the tea bags?) into the dry ingredients and stir until a uniformed, fruity, tea infused batter is made, it should be sticky but not runny.

Stir in a teaspoon of cider vinegar (it won’t taste but will react with the bicarb to help it rise)

Line two, 2 pound loaf tins with either a paper loaf liner or some grease proof paper.

Pour the batter into the loaf tins and smooth over. there should be room for the batter to rise.

Gently place the loaf tin in the oven for 45-50 mins, check after 30 mins to make sure its not browning to quickly on top. If it is, loosely cover with tin foil and continue to bake, Use a cocktail stick or metal skewer to insert into the cake and if it comes out clean its cooked, and if there’s cake stuck to it, its means still needs cooking and then check with skewer every 5 mins.

Once cooked, take out and allow to completely cool on a cake rack.

Serve cold and sliced with the optional lashings of butter.

tea loaf
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5 from 2 votes

English Tea Loaf

This is a plant based version of the english tea loaf, which is a delicious moist, sweet bread with tea soaked dried fruits. It is traditionally served with a spread of butter and is part of afternoon tea. The tea loaf is served in tearooms and hotels that serve traditional afternoon tea. It is mainly associated with Yorkshire.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Soaking time6 hrs
Total Time7 hrs 5 mins
Course: cake
Cuisine: Modern British
Servings: 20 slices
Calories: 161kcal

Equipment

  • 2 x 2 pound loaf tins
  • 2 x mixing bowls

Ingredients

  • 4 tea bag
  • 400 ml boiling water
  • 300 gm self raising flour
  • 160 gm soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 250 gm raisins
  • 250 gm sultanas

Method

  • This recipe makes enough for 2 x 2lb loaf tins
  • Begin by making 500 ml of Yorkshire tea (boiling water with 4 tea bags and leave them in and pour into a bowl with the 250gm sultanas and 250gm raisins. give them a quick stir and make sure they are covered in the tea. cover with cling film and leave to soak overnight or at least 5 hours.
  • In the morning – Pre heat the oven to 170C
  • In a large mixing bowl sift 300 gm of self raising flour into it.
  • Add 160 gm of soft brown sugar, mixed spice, baking powder and pinch of salt to the bowl
  • Remove the tea bags from the fruit mixture, which should have some liquid still,
  • Throughly mix the dry ingredients.
  • Now scoop the dried fruit mixture out of the liquid and put into the flour and slowly while stirring add the liquid (removed the tea bags?) into the dry ingredients until a uniformed, fruity, tea infused batter is made, it should be loose but not runny.
  • Stir in a teaspoon of cider vinegar (it won't taste but will react with the baking powder to help it rise)
  • Line two, 2 pound loaf tins with either a paper loaf liner or some grease proof paper.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf tins and smooth over. there should be room for the batter to rise.
  • Gently place the loaf tin in the oven for 45-50 mins, check after 30 mins to make sure its not browning to quickly on top. If it is, loosely cover with tin foil and continue to bake, Use a cocktail stick or metal skewer to insert into the cake and if it comes out clean its cooked, and if there's cake stuck to it, its means still needs cooking and then check with skewer every 5 mins.
  • Once cooked, take out and allow to completely cool on a cake rack.
  • Serve cold and sliced with the optional lashings of butter

Nutrition

Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 224mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

(All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more).

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2 thoughts on “Plant based english tea loaf”

  1. 5 stars
    I never knew tea loaf actually had yeast in it! My Mum (and her mum, …) made Fruit Cake loaves with tea as the liquid ingredient and I’ve had fun experimenting since with differently flavoured teas. A chai blend is lovely! I’ve bookmarked this recipe and am looking forward to trying it out soon.
    I’ve only got a mini oven at the moment. Do you think a half batch would work as little cakes? Or should I wait to get back to my big oven for the full loaves?

    1. To make it plant based I removed the eggs and made a bread mixture using yeast, researching the origins it came from during the war when there were a lack of eggs due to rationing and today most recipes use eggs, I like to think this is how they would of made it during the rationing.
      and yes I didn’t know the amounts were going to make 2 loafs until I got to putting the batter into the tin!
      so yes I would half the ingredients, maybe keep the yeast the same. as it didn’t rise as much as I’d like.

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