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Barm Brack Recipe

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A classic old spiced cake / bread recipe.

Estimated Prep Time: 30 minutes

Estimated Cooking Time: 45 minutes Cooking at: 400 F / 200 C / Gas Mark 6


2 cups Mixed Dried Fruit


Stir the sugar into the lukewarm milk, then stir the yeast in. Set aside.

Crack the egg into a small cup or dish, beat with a fork till blended, set aside.

Mix together the sugar, salt and spices, then mix the flour in. Rub in the butter till it's the consistency of coarse crumbs, then make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasty milk and the beaten egg.

Beat with a spoon until you've got a consistent dough, then fold in the fruit, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead a bit.

Place in a bowl, cover with a cloth and plate, and allow to rise until doubled in size. Punch down the dough, then put it in a greased cake pan and allow it to rise again, for a half-hour or so.

Start heating your oven toward the end of the brack's final rising in its pan. When the oven is ready, pop the brack into the oven, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 or 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Recipe notes

The quickest way to get the milk lukewarm is to zap it in the microwave.

Instead of 1 teaspoon of allspice, you can use a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.

Use a cake pan that is about 7 inches / 18 cm wide.

The story behind this recipe...

  • icon
    Barm Brack is an Irish bread with dried fruit in it. Traditionally it was risen with yeast, but for some time now many recipes have called for baking powder or self-rising flour.
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