Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Welsh Bara Brith

I've been longing to try new regional bakes and explore different baking recipes, as my usual sponge and buttercream combination can be a bit "yawn" at time. As mid Wales is only an hour away from me, I thought I would start exploring regional bakes with the famous Welsh "Bara Brith" (meaning speckled bread). Surprsingly not many of my baking books cover this recipe, but many cover a variation of some form of tea bread. I was actually quite surprised that this is considered to be a bread and not a cake, as there is no kneading involved - but who am I to debate, the recipe is found in the bread section in The Great British Book of Baking!
I certainly was not dissapointed. I found the loaf cake, super easy to make. I soaked the fruits over night in black tea and the following day combined the remaining ingredients together, placed in a loaf tin and baked for an hour. After an hour the most moist, sweet, and flavoursome tea bread was created: I've fallen in love with the Bara Brith.
I enjoyed my Bara Brith with a cup of tea, and this was the perfect tea time treat.
Bara Brith with cups of tea.
Baked Bara Brith

I first started by soaking the dried fruits in black tea - It was only after I realised that the sugar should have been added, but it still tasted amazing. I left to soak overnight.
The following day I added the egg and stirred in the mixture, and then combined the remainding ingredients and placed in a loaf tin.
Soaked fruits

Soaked fruits with egg

Bara Brith mixture

Bara Brith mixture.
I then left to bake for a hour.

Recipe for Welsh Bara Brith.
Ingredients
250g mixed dried fruits
100g dark brown muscavodo sugar
22ml strong black tea (no milk)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 large free-range egg, beaten
250g self-raising flour

You will need a 450g loaf tin, greased with butter and lined with a long strip of greaseproof paper to cover the bas and 2 short sides.

Method
Put the dried fruit and sugar into a large-heatproof mixing bowl. Pour over the hot tea and stir well. Cover the bowl with a clean dry tea towel and leave to soak for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3. Add the cinamon, nutmeg and beaten egg to the soaked fruit and tea, and stir well with a wooden spoon. Mix in the flour, then transfer the mixture into the prepared tin and spread even;y. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand the tin on a wire cooling rack and leave for about 15 minutes to firm up before turning out. leave to cool completely.

I am entering this "bread" recipe to a few blogging challenges. Firstly Calendar Cakes, hosted by Laura Love Cakes http://lauralovescakes.blogspot.co.uk/ and Dolly Bakes http://www.dollybakes.co.uk/ has a monthly blogging challenge and this month the theme is bread.

I am entering this to Bake Your Own bread challenge hosted byGirl in Chief. The theme is also bread - any type of bread and I think my Welsh bread meets the criteria.

10 comments:

  1. I love bara brith and yours look delicious, especially with the cups of tea! My (welsh) grandmother used to make it all the time and now I have a serious craving for it.

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  2. This looks great...I've never made Bara Brith before but I'd love to give it a go! As you say this would be perfect with a cup of tea... thanks for entering this month's Calendar Cakes! :-)

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  3. Looks lovely! Must try this sometime as, despite being Welsh, I haven't actually tried that many regional bakes either. But this looks delish!:)

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  4. I can't believe i've lived for 25 years and not tried this until last week. There's so much food to try! x

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  5. now this looks extra special... i'm thinking I need to soak those currants in spiced rum for some added christmas appeal!... lovely recipe, thanks for sharing x

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  6. Oh, I have never tried Bara Brith...but I know I would love it. Quick Breads studded with fruit are always good by me. Thanks so much for adding this to the BYOB bread basket this month. :)

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  7. This looks delicious!

    I just started a new party on my blog called Pantry Party. I hope you check it out and join, because all your recipes seem great!

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  8. I love anything with soaked fruit in it! I've never heard of this but definitely need to add to recipes I must try!!

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  9. Interesting recipe! bookmarked!

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  10. this look beautiful, just beautiful!

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