- 1 lb (450g) plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 7g fast-action instant dried yeast
- 10 fl oz (290ml) water at blood heat
- A little melted lard, for greasing
For the filling
- 4 oz (115g) lard, cut into small pieces
- 4 oz (115g) sultanas
- 4 oz (115g) caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- A little olive oil
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- A little clear honey
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and stir in the yeast. Add the warm water and mix to a soft but not sticky dough. Knead until smooth and stretchy. Return to the bowl and cover with cling film and place next to the AGA for about an hour, until doubled in size.
Roll the mixture on a floured surface into an 18 x 6 inch (45 x 15cm) rectangle. Use a third of the lard to dot over the top two-thirds of the dough. Toss the sultanas in the sugar and spice and use a third of the mixture to sprinkles over the larded dough. Fold the dough into three: bring the bottom, uncovered third up over the centre section first, then turn the top third down over it. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Roll out again and cover in the same way with the second third of the lard and sultana mixture, folding in three as before. Rest for 10 minutes. Roll out a final time using the same method.
Lightly grease a half-size AGA roasting tin – an aluminium one gives the best results. Roll the dough to adjust to fit snugly in the tin. Cover with cling film and leave next to the AGA to prove until 1½ times its original size.
Brush with a little oil and sprinkle over the sugar. Using a very sharp knife, make a criss-cross pattern over the top.
2 oven AGA
Hang the tin on the lowest set of runners of the Roasting Oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the tin and slide a cold plain shelf onto the third set of runners from the top. After 30 minutes, replace the now hot cold plain shelf with a fresh one (or use a full-size AGA baking tray or roasting tin) and bake for a further 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil towards the end if it is browning too much.
3, 4 and 5 oven AGA
Hang the tin on the lowest set of runners of the Roasting Oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then transfer to the lowest set of runners in the Baking Oven and bake for 1 – 1¼ hours, turning the tin after 40 minutes.
The cake is cooked when the cake sound hollow when it is tapped on the underside. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, covered with a clean cloth.
Whilst still warm, brush all over with a little warmed honey.
Serve warm or cold with a cup of tea. Also excellent toasted and buttered.