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Catholic Recipe: Tandra Cakes


  • 1lb (400g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 oz (12.5g) fresh yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (caster) sugar
  • 1/2 pint (250g) water
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz (100g) lard (substitute with shortening or butter)
  • 4 oz (100g) currants
  • 4 oz (100g) sugar
  • 1 oz (25g) chopped lemon peel (crystallized) 
  • Details

  • Yield: 1 2 lb loaf
  • Prep Time: 3 1/2 - 4 hours
  • Difficulty: • • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Origin: England

Also Called: Tandry or Tandrew Wigs

In parts of England Saint Andrew is considered the patron of lacemakers — perhaps coming from the resemblance of intersecting threads in certain types of lace to the cross of Saint Andrew. Seventeenth-century bakers made cakes or buns known as Tandry or Tandrew "Wigs," composed of plain dough in wedge shape, ornamented with currants and caraway seeds.


Mix the flour and salt, then sift into a mixing bowl. Slightly warm the water in a different bowl and add to it a mixture of yeast and sugar. Blend and put aside until the frothing stops. Mix in a beaten egg and slowly add the mixture to the flour and salt. Next slowly melt the lard and, when cool, add the mixture, stirring until smooth. Knead, cover and leave to rise.

After doubling in size, knead in the currants, 4 oz sugar and peel, then transfer it to a 2 lb (1kg) loaf tin. Leave until the dough has risen to the top, then bake in a moderate oven (350ºF) until golden-brown, approximately 1 hour.

Recipe Source: Recipes from Various Websites
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