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View Full Version : Bara Brith - a delicious Welsh cake recipe and an absolute doddle to make



emb123
21-Dec-06, 21:35
Bara Brith

1 lb self-raising flour
1 lb mixed dried fruit
2 tablespoons warm marmalade
1 egg (beaten)
6 ounces brown sugar
1/2 pint warm strained tea
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

Place the fruit, sugar and warm tea in a large bowl and soak overnight.

next day or approx 10 hours later:

Preheat the oven to 180 Celcius / 350 Fahrenheit
Beat the egg in a small bowl
Grease and flour a 3lb loaf tin or deep 8" cake tin
Sieve the flour and mixed spice, and warm the marmalade.
Add the flour, warm marmalade and egg to the soaked fruit.
Mix well but quickly as the mixture starts to rise immediately.
Pour the mixture into the greased baking tin.
Bake for 80 to 90 minutes on 180 Celcius / 350 Fahrenheit (gas mark 4) (reduce heat by 20 Celcius if using fan assisted oven)

Cool on wire rack. (e.g. the rack in a grill pan)
Serve sliced with or without butter.

Tastes an awful lot like Christmas cake, in a fraction of the time.

Personally I think the amount of liquid is slighty too much so I add a little but more dried fruit to compensate (basically I use the whole 500g pack), and for my taste the quantity of sugar in this traditional recipe is a lot too much (it was almost giving me toothache as I was eating it) so I make it with just a whisker over 5.5 ounces of brown sugar).

It's much better a few days after baking, even a week later.

(oh, I also add about a dozen glace cherries with the fruit for soaking - not authentic but I like them.)

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This exact same recipe (minus the marmalade) is described on the www as Barm Brack - a traditional Irish recipe. :)

emb123
09-Jun-07, 19:13
I make this quite often, mainly because it's so quick and easy.

Here's one I made last night (to tempt you!) added a dozen glace cherries again (because I like them) and runny honey drizzled and smoothed over the top whilst still very warm.

The Welsh often eat it buttered, but with the cherries I don't think it needs butter.



http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/aethandor/baking/090620072252.jpg

Angela
09-Jun-07, 19:47
It's much better a few days after baking, even a week later.



You're not seriously saying you can keep this for a whole week without making inroads on it? :eek:

I had heard of it (as both Bara Brith and Barm Brack) but I've never tried making it. Sounds much easier than I'd thought, so I'll give it a go (when I've sorted out my oven situation).

Thanks for posting the recipe! :)

emb123
09-Jun-07, 20:12
You're not seriously saying you can keep this for a whole week without making inroads on it? :eek:

I had heard of it (as both Bara Brith and Barm Brack) but I've never tried making it. Sounds much easier than I'd thought, so I'll give it a go (when I've sorted out my oven situation).

Thanks for posting the recipe!
Well, ordinarily I find that once I've got one of these hanging around I tend to eat nothing else :)

However I made this last night and until a short while ago when I cut a few pieces for my neighbour where I tasted a bit first to make sure I was happy with it (I soaked the fruit much longer than usual and the tea was rather stronger than I usally make it) I'd not touched it. It did help that I deliberately made a spicy fruit bread at the same time (although there isn't much of that left now). I did used to go easy on it when I made it and only nibble a bit now and again with my afternoon coffee and it really is better 4 or 5 days later if you have the willpower!

It really is a surprisingly easy recipe. Probably even easier than making scones!

One day I'll remember to make the tea (no milk) and add it to the sugar and dissolve the sugar before adding the fruit. I keep meaning to!

I believe that you can also buy the same thing in the shops as Yorkshire Tea Bread although it's about 2.99 for a cake that's only about 2/5th the size of this one. This one costs roughly 1 to make (minus the cherries & using Value dried mixed fruit).

I don't like tea actually (I'm a coffee drinker) and it's traditional to use a good strong black tea for this but I prefer Earl Grey.

htwood
30-Jun-07, 05:23
Now you've done it emb123! Hubby has seen that lovely pic you posted and is clamoring for "almost Christmas cake" in July LOL Lucky the recipe is so easy, I think I'll leave him to it.
Thanks for posting the recipe. -Helen

Bobinovich
02-Jul-07, 14:41
Groan looks delicious EMB - I'm sure I put on a couple of ounces just slavering over the picture!

...continues Homer Simpson-style drool

bluelady
03-Jul-07, 00:32
bara Brith is delicious, been going to Wales several times a year for 40 years, the authentic bara Brith is much darker than the one you shown but your deviation looks good :)

Bara Brith
The famous 'speckled bread' of Wales was originally a variation of the weekly loaf, sweetened with sugar, and with raisins and currants pressed into the dough. Though some recipes now use baking powder as the raising agent, the best bara brith is still made with yeast.
Ingredients
Serves: 8

150 ml Milk ( 1/4 pint)
50 Gram Brown sugar (2 oz)
10 Gram Dried yeast (1/3 oz)
450 Gram Wheatmeal flour (1 lb)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground mixed spice
75 Gram Butter (3 oz)
75 Gram Raisins (3 oz)
75 Gram Currants (3 oz)
25 Gram Candied peel, chopped (1 oz)
http://www.greatbritishkitchen.co.uk/photos/barabrith.jpgMethod
Heat the milk until tepid, dissolve the sugar and sprinkle on the yeast. Set aside in a warm place until frothy, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and spices together and rub in the butter. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the yeast mixture. Mix well. Cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours).

Knock back and knead, then work in the fruit and peel. Turn into a warmed and buttered loaf tin. Cover, set aside in a warm place, and leave to rise again for a further 1-2 hours. Bake at 220 C / 425 F / Gas 7 for 20-30 minutes. Cover the top of the loaf with foil for the last 10 minutes. Allow to cool and serve cut into slices, buttered and arranged on a plate.