Friday, 16 October 2015

World Bread Day 2015: Barm Brack

World Bread Day 2015 (October 16)It's that time of the year again for the World Bread Day to celebrate anything to do with breads in the food blogging world. Zorra of Kochtopf as usual is ably hosting this fine blogging event.

I always loved fruited breads like tea breads/cakes, fruit loafs, etc. Toast them lightly then slather with butter and scoff down with some Earl Grey tea - yum! So what better way to try making a fruited bread than baking the Irish Barm Brack. The timing is quite right, too. For it is also traditionally served during Halloween.

I first had Barm Brack when an Irish family friend gifted us with one. It was the dark variety but packed chock-a-block full of fruits. Oh wow, it was a great introduction to this wonderful tea-time bread.

Barm Brack
Sue Lawrence's Book of Baking provided me with a workable recipe with the help of my trusted Panasonic bread machine.

Barm Brack

Barm Brack

500 g  strong white flour (or bread flour)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground mixed spice
7 g  sachet of easy-blend dried yeast
1 tsp fine sea salt
50 g  [scant 1/4 cup] unsalted butter
50 g nbsp;[1/4 cup] caster sugar
150 g  [1 cup] currants
50 g  [1/3 cup] dried mixed peel
50 g  [1/3 cup] sultanas
300 ml  [1 1/4 cups] tepid milk

1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp water

  1. Hand Method:
    • Combine the flour, yeast, spices, and salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter.
    • Stir in the sugar and dried fruits; then the milk.
    • Once combined, turn out on a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth.
    • Place in an oiled bowl, invert dough so that the top is oiled. Cover with cling film and let rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours.
  2. Bread Machine Method:
    • Put all ingredients according to the bread machine instruction and set to dough setting.
  3. Butter a 20 cm/8 inch baking pan. Punch down dough and shape into a round to fit into the prepared pan. Cover with greased cling film and let rise in a warm place for another hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 200°C/fan 180°C/400°F. Bake for a further 30-35 minutes. Cover loosely with foil in the last 15 minutes. It is cooked when it sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.
  5. While it is baking, make the glaze - boil the water in a small saucepan; add the sugar and cook on low heat until dissolved. Brush the syrup glaze on top of the bread and return to the oven for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from baking pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


zorra said...

I did not know about this Irish bread. Thank you for sharing and thanks for participating in World Bread Day!

celia kusinera said...

It's always a pleasure to participate, Zorra. I hope you would continue this tradition every year.