During lockdown, there have been many ways that people have kept themselves busy. One of the most popular being baking! Our social media feeds have been filled with so many delicious baking creations. Here’s a recipe for our favourite Welsh treat for you to try at home: Welsh Cakes!
If you’ve never tasted a Welsh cake before, we cannot recommend them enough! Although they are made with simple ingredients that most people keep in their cupboards, such as flour, sugar, milk and butter, they really are a special treat. They can be described as a cross between a cookie, scone and pancake but are cooked traditionally over a hot bakestone, as opposed to baked.
There are undoubtedly many different ways to make Welsh cakes, with many families having their own recipe which has been passed down through the generations. The recipe below is a simple Welsh cake recipe, but you can experiment with adding different spices, fruit and even chocolate. Whatever takes your fancy!
We know most of you won’t have cooked with a bakestone before, but baking is all about the fun and learning so why not give it a go. You can find Bridgend-made bakestones to order on our website at https://www.valleymill.co.uk/homeware/ironware/Welsh-Bake-Stone
And if you don’t have a bakestone, or just can’t wait to order one, a cast-iron frying pan will do the job!
Simple Welsh Cake Recipe
- 110g salted butter
- 225g self raising flour
- 85g caster sugar
- 1 or 2 handfuls of sultanas
- 1 or 2 free-range eggs
- Sieve the flour in a bowl. Add the butter and rub in finely together.
- Next add the sugar and sultanas and mix together.
- Add 1 egg to the bowl and mix. The mixture should come together in a dough. If the mixture is too dry, add an extra egg.
- Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface until about 5mm (1/4 inch) in thickness.
- Cut using a 7.5cm (3 inch) circular cutter, then cook on a seasoned bakestone or frying pan which has been lightly greased with butter. Cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes each side, or until golden brown.
- Cooking time will vary depending on what you are using to cook your Welsh cakes. Too short and they will be raw in the middle, too long and they will be dry. The best way to tell if they are cooked is if they are springy to touch and the mixture isn’t wet in the middle.
- Once they are cooked, remove from the bakestone/pan, dust with caster sugar and tuck in! We love them still warm but can also be enjoyed cool.
Once you’ve mastered this basic, feel free to experiment by adding different ingredients. Wales Online wrote an article a few years ago which included four recipe variations to get you started.
Seasoning and caring for a bakestone
We often get people visiting our stores who have inherited a bakestone from a family member but have no idea how to use it. An important step before using one is seasoning it, which means to add a natural non-stick coating. It also protects the surface of your bakestone and prevents rusting.
- There is a protective oil coating on our bakestones, which needs to be removed before use. To do this, use an abrasive cleaning pad and washing up liquid to clean the cooking surface.
- Heat up your bakestone. We recommend doing this outside on a portable stove or barbecue. If this isn’t possible, make sure your kitchen is well ventilated as the bakestone will smoke.
- Protect your hands with an oven glove and carefully rub a mixture of fat or vegetable oil and salt onto the cooking surface, using a thick cotton cloth.
- Continue to add fat and salt, a tablespoon at a time, allowing it to burn and blacken. After around 20 minutes the bakestone should have gained a smooth black surface.
- Turn off the heat and allow your bakestone to cool naturally.
- Wash your bakestone with warm water, removing any remaining loose salt.
Your bakestone is now ready to be used!
- After use, wipe your bakestone with warm, soapy water.
- Dry and store in a dry place.
- Never use abrasive cleaners.
- If , after a long storage, rusting appears, simply clean it off and re-season.