Hello all! I'm new to the forums and to baking in general, and I'm hoping that y'all can help me with a problem.
So I'm a hungry nerd and while listening to The Hobbit on audio, I became curious about this "seed cake" that kept coming up, so I pulled out my trusty internet. Sure enough, I found a recipe for seed cake and set about forthwith. The recipe is taken from godecookery.com:
Sift together the flours and salt; set aside in large bowl. Dissolve yeast in warm ale, along with 1/8 tsp. of the flour mixture. Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and seeds. Make a well in the flour and add the dissolved yeast. Fold flour into yeast mixture, then fold in the butter. Slowly beat in enough milk to make a smooth, thick batter. Pour batter into an 8" round greased cake pan. Bake in middle of oven at 350° F for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before turning onto a cake rack.
- 1 ½ cups unbleached flour
- 1 cup cracked wheat flour
- 1 pkg. yeast
- 1/8 cup warm (100 degrees) ale
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 4 oz. (1 stick) sweet butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbs. seed (crushed anise, caraway, coriander, cardamom, etc. - choose something flavorful & pleasant)
- ½ - 1 cup milk
So I tried it. Now, I called and searched a fair number of supermarkets here in Austin, and none of them carried cracked wheat flour. Instead, I used whole wheat flour. Also, the recipe calls for sweet butter, not specifying whether it be salted or unsalted, so I opted for unsalted. I will admit that during the first try, I accidentally skipped over adding the 1/8 tsp. of salt and also forgot the 1/8 tsp. of the flour mixture in the dissolved yeast. The first attempt came out looking very dense and mealy inside, although the exterior looked convincingly scrumptious, if broken. Also, I didn't have cake pan so I used a Pyrex bowl.
Second try, I invested in some better bakeware and proceeded to remedy my previous omissions. This time I had the cake pan, and dutifully added the 1/8 tsps. of salt and flour respectively. Well, it didn't turn out much better than the first, although this one looked even more delicious than the one before.
Where did I go wrong? Or is it just an awful recipe and I don't know it because I'm a complete baking n00b?
I appreciate any and all feedback! Thanks!