By Andrea Fabry of It Takes Time
You, like Dickon, will love these Dough Cakes. A gluten-free dough is gently patted into discs and enriched with butter and sweetener. Fifteen minutes later these lovely lightly sweetened cakes emerge from the oven ready for tea time.
These Victorian-era Dough Cakes are based on the book The Secret Garden, by Francis Hodgson Burnett. Dough cakes are made from old fashioned cottage loaves, a favorite of English “cottagers”.
The Secret Garden is one of my favorite children’s book. It’s filled with references to natural health, extolling the benefits of fresh air, clean water, and wholesome food.
In Chapter eight, Martha, Mary Lennox’s good-natured maid, and companion, offers a glimpse into the life of a poor, loving family.
Martha recounts her recent visit to her home and tells Mary about the delicious Dough Cakes she and her mother prepared for each of the 12 children.
“I had’em all pipin’ hot when they came in from playin’ on the’ moor. An’ th’ cottage all smelt o’nice, clean hot bakin’ an’ there was a good fire, an’ they just shouted for joy. Our Dickon he said our cottage was good enough for a king.”
What is a Dough Cake?
Dough Cakes rely on bread dough taken from cottage loaf dough, a rustic Victorian bread made in the bottom of a brick oven.
Amy Cotler, the author of The Secret Garden Cookbook, describes Dough Cakes this way:
“Stotty cake or oven bottom cakes were often made for a quick meal. Pieces were pulled off the bread dough; they were flattened and baked quickly at the bottom of the oven for 20 minutes, then split and buttered for served with bacon. As there was plenty of bread dough on hand, cottagers baked small pieces and filled them with brown sugar for a special treat. ”
This recipe can be adapted to suit any preference. Add some sweetener and cinnamon to the dough for even more flavor!
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Other Recipes Inspired by Books
- Buckwheat Pancakes, inspired by The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Cinnamon Dandelion Tea, inspired by Stuart Little
- Sourdough Chocolate Cake, inspired by the Anne of Green Gables Series
- 1.5 cups of your favorite bread dough. (Since we’re grain-free I rely on my Gluten-free Sourdough Quinoa Bread which uses kombucha as a starter. Find the recipe here.)
- 2 teaspoons butter or ghee.
- 4 teaspoons sweetener of choice. (We use Monk Fruit sweetener)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Divide dough into four portions.
3. With your hands, pat each portion into a flat disk and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Use a spoon or your thumb to make a slight indentation in the center of each.
5. Drop 1 teaspoon sweetener into each indentation and top with 1/2 teaspoon of butter.
6. Let rest for 15 minutes
7. Bake the cakes on the lowest oven rack until dough is browned and cooked through. (Approximately 15 minutes.)
Makes four medium Dough Cakes.
- 1.5 cups of your favorite gluten-free bread dough
- 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
- 4 teaspoons sweetener or sweetener alternative
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Divide dough into four sections.
- With your hands, pat each portion into a flat disk and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Use a spoon or your thumb to make a slight indentation in the center of each.
- Drop 1 teaspoon sweetener into each indentation and top with ½ teaspoon of butter.
- Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Bake the cakes on the lowest oven rack until dough is browned and cooked through.
- Serve warm.