Caraway Tea Bread

I was looking for a vehicle for jam, a change from the fruit-filled tea bread and a way to use up ingredients I already have.

This item is introduced as being suitable for children, although ‘Grown ups may do well to visit on its afternoon debut’ apparently.

From Tea-Time and some Cakes, Kitchen Essays, Agnes Jekyll. (Persephone Books, reprinted 2008)

Caraway Tea Bread

3 teacups flour
1 teacup castor sugar
1 cup boiling milk
3 oz butter
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 large dessertspoonful ground caraway seeds

Mix flour, baking powder and sugar, rub in butter, mix the milk warmed with the egg beaten and the ground caraway seeds. Knead into a flattish brick-shaped loaf or cake, and bake 20 minutes in a quick oven.

To be eaten fresh with a little butter.


  • The caraway seeds I have are whole and ended up being bashed and chopped a bit before they were added. I had a kitchen equipment fail by losing my pestle (Where is it, seriously?! My kitchen is tiny! Don’t comment ‘Behind the fridge!’, I have already looked there.)  and then immediately after this, my hand mixer stopped working.
  • I also didn’t have any milk so decided to substitute a cup of hot water and a spoonful of oil, to which I added the seeds while I was doing the weighing and rubbing in so they could soften up.
  • I rubbed the fat and dry ingredients into tiny even crumbs, which, I realise in retrospect may have been an error in terms of the softness of the loaf.
  • I used a small loaf tin. I contemplated putting the mixture into 2 round cake tins but the batter  (which was like firmer, more elastic cake batter) filled the loaf tin by 2/3 which seemed about right.
  • Cooking time given is a complete lie, if you’re cooking it in a bread tin. I gave it 20 minutes at GM8, after which time it was brown on top and still liquid within.  I then turned the oven down to GM5 and gave it another 20 minutes. I imagine if I had cooked it in a flatter tin, it would have been quicker.


The texture is a cross between a cake and a scone, with a crisp crust and firm enough centre on which to spread butter. I think I may have overcooked it slightly so I shall have to see how well it keeps. It is also rather crumbly, with some pieces of crust breaking off so next time I make this, I’ll use a shallower tin. It is fairly sweet but the flavour is good – I thought it might need some orange or lemon zest or some vanilla but the fruity notes in the caraway seeds have infused the whole loaf.

caraway seed cake

Carried away by Elly


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