Friday, 4 October 2013

Cornish Splits

Jam Cream Tea & Thunder & Lightning

In bygone days a Cornish Cream Tea did NOT consist of Scones. Our Forebears used splits.
A soft milky bread, light as a feather and perfect with jam and clotted cream. But as kids we loved Thunder & Lightning - Golden Syrup and Clotted Cream, as seen on the right.

For 20 splits: [they freeze like a dream]

1 1/2 lb Strong Plain Flour [Bread Flour]
3 oz lard
1 level teaspoon salt
3/4 pint [15 fl oz] milk    [I used semi skimmed, but in olden days it would have been whole milk]
about 12 - 14 grams of Dried Active Yeast. That's 2 sachets.  [or 1 1/2 oz of fresh]
1 teaspoon sugar

Rub the fat into the flour and salt, until it has disappeared.

Meanwhile warm the milk to barely tepid with the sugar, and then whisk in the yeast. Allow to start working until frothy then pour into the flour mix and bring together. Tip onto a floured surface and start to knead. This will take approx 8 - 10 mins until smooth and the dough jumps back after poking your finger in it. Cover with lightly oiled cling film, then leave and go off to do your shopping! When it is doubled in size [depends on the temperature of the room - these took just over an hour in my warm kitchen], tip back onto the surface and knead again to knock out the air. Divide into 20.   i.e. between 2 - 2 1/8 oz ea.  I use a digital flat scale with a plate on top. Shape into splits and place on lightly oiled baking sheet. Put to rise again for 15 mins. Bake in a hot fan oven - 190 deg C for about 15 mins. Cool on a rack then enjoy!!!
To shape, keep turning the dough underneath so the joins are on the bottom.
The texture of your bread should be even and very light. If not, then you have not kneaded it sufficiently or knocked out the air. I also purposely did not use Strawberry Jam. Jam would have been made from fruits that were free and easy to obtain eg Blackberry, as above.


  1. which shelf do you put these on?

  2. Replies
    1. with fan ovens these days it does not seem to matter what shelf you use! My oven bakes evenly wherever. So I often forget to say anything about shelves. L

  3. My fan oven bakes unevenly, can I open oven and turn half way through?

  4. Just made the splits and they have turned out and treat, just like your picture. However I seem to remember cornish splits as having a soft top,mine are crusty, have I made a mistake.? So pleased to have found your recipes,a trip down memory lane. I look forward to trying out some old favorites. Thank you. u

  5. I thought thunder and lightning used black treacle

  6. Many thanks for an excellent recipe. We have just had the splits with jam and clotted cream in the Cornish style, as instructed! They were georgeous. A search for a Cornish Splits recipe lead me to your site where I have discovered lots of lovely-looking recipes. I am looking forward to trying many of them. Regards, Martin.