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Wiltshire Lardy Cake

  • 1/2 pound white bread flour
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 ounce melted lard
  • 1/4 pint warm water (or milk & water)
  • 1/4 pound Pure pork lard; diced
  • lard for greasing the pan
  • cinnamon
  • allspice
  • demerara sugar
  • 1 ounce sultanas; chopped
  • 1 ounce raisins; chopped
  • 1 ounce currents; chopped
  • 1 ounce chopped candied peel

Using a food-mixer or processor or your hands, mix and knead the dough. Cover it with oiled polythene and leave to rise until doubled in size; this will take about 1 hour in a warm place. Knock back the dough, knead it again briefly and roll out to an oblong. Mix together 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground allspice and 2 ounces sugar and sprinkle half of this mixture over the dough. Add half the dried fruits and half the diced lard. Roll up the dough, like a Swiss roll, give it a quarter turn and roll it out to an oblong again. Sprinkle with sugar and spices, dried fruits and fat exactly as before. Then roll up and roll out the dough to an oblong once again, but this time make it the right size to fit a shallow baking or roasting tin about 7-inches square. Grease the tin and put the dough into it, pressing it well into the corners. Cover and leave to prove (rise) until the dough is light, puffy and well risen. Score the top of the dough with a diamond pattern, brush with melted lard and sprinkle on 1 ounce of sugar. Bake at 425 F (220 C) gas mark 7 until cooked to a golden brown and smelling delicious, 35-40 minutes. Cool the cake briefly in the tin so that the melted fat is re-absorbed, then serve it while still warm, cut into large sticky fingers.

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