Barmbrack (Báirín Breac) – Irish Halloween Fruit Bread / Cake

After a small break, I am now back with a delicious bake that we did for Aparna's We Knead To Bake group.

This is a traditional bread from Ireland and is made with dried fruits soaked that has been soaked hot tea.It is also called Báirín Breac / Speckled Bread.Báirín means loaf Breac means speckled and the speckled look is from the raisins that are used to make this bread.

 This bread is a part of the Irish Halloween custom and is bakes with various objects inside it which are like 'fortunes'.Each object tells you your fortune!!

 I made some changes only in the dried fruits that are used and I have given the ones that were originally used in the recipe in the notes section. Also I halved the original recipe.

This makes a great tea time snack and tastes so good when eaten slathered with butter.

I used:
Makes - 1- 5*8 loaf

All purpose flour- 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Strong tea,black - 1 cup
Mixed dried fruits - 1/2 cup [I used tutti frutti, raisins, glazed cherries ]
Instant yeast- 1 teaspoon
Ground ginger - 1/4 teaspoon
Granulated sugar- 1/3 cup
Ground cinnamon -1/4 teaspoon
Salt- a large pinch
Softened, unsalted butter- 20 grams
Milk to make up the tea [method given int he steps]
Sugar-1 teaspoon mixed with 1 tablespoon of boiling water for the glaze.

Take the dried fruits ina bowl and pout hot black tea into it .Cover ans set aside for 4-5 hours. I left it overnight in the fridge.

After the fruits plump up, drain and reserve the liquid. Take the remaining black tea in a 1/2 cup measuring cup and top it up with warm milk and bring up the volume to 1/2 cup of milk tea.The milk must be warm enough to activate the yeast.


Take 1 1/2 cups flour,salt,cinnamon powder, ground ginger,yeast  and sugar in a bowl and  whisk to combine. Add the softened butter and mix with your finger tip to get a sandy texture.

Add warm milk+tea to the mixture and bring it all together.Transfer onto a floured board and knead to a smooth,elastic dough.Add more flour if the dough is very sticky.Flatten the dough and spread the drained fruits over it.Fold and knead gently to disperse the fruits evenly into the dough.

Roll the dough into a ball and place into a well oiled bowl.Cover and set aside to rise double in volume. Once it has doubled shape into a loaf and place into a greased [5*8] loaf pan and cover and set aside to rise for 45 minutes.

Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 Degree C for 45 minutes or till done/ sounds hollow when tapped. Mine started turning brown soon so tented it with an aluminum foil.When there is still 5 more minutes on the timer, remove the loaf and brush with the glaze and return it to the oven.

Once the bread is done, remove from the pan and allow to cool. Cut into slices after the load has cooled down completely.

Serve as a tea time snack slathered generously with butte...


Bon Appetit...

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