Traditional recipes

Welsh bara brith recipe

Welsh bara brith recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Bread
  • Bread without yeast

This fruity Welsh loaf is a favourite.


Cheshire, England, UK

64 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 50g currants
  • 100g sultanas
  • 1 mug strong tea
  • 75g dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 350g self raising flour, sieved

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:2hr ›Extra time:8hr › Ready in:10hr20min

  1. Soak the currants and sultanas overnight in the tea along with the sugar.
  2. Line a buttered loaf tin with parchment and preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the fruit mixture and stir. Add the flour along with the mixed spice. Turn into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin and then turn out to cool completely.

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Reviews in English (1)

An incredibly simple recipient. Tastes great too - had great fun making this with my daughter who was amazed at the use for a cup of tea. On attempt 2 I added a few extras, some chopped hazelnuts and cherries. Whilst deviating from the original recipie it made this a great post work out protein and care snack-31 Jan 2014


Bara Brith

Make the delicious Bara Brith (or spotted bread) loaf from Escape to the Farm. Delicious with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

Makes 1 loaf – Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • 450g mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants)
  • 1tbps mixed peel (if not already included in your mixed dried fruit)
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 450ml strong black tea
  • 450g self raising flour
  • 1tsp fine sea salt
  • 1tsp ground all spice
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 1 large egg, beaten to serve
  • butter
  1. Soak the dried fruit, sugar and mixed peel in the tea, leaving to soak for at least five hours, or ideally overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160C, and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
  3. Stir the flour, salt and spices into the fruit mixture, making sure to mix really well so you have no pockets of flour. Add the beaten egg and mix. You may find you need to mix with your hands towards the end, to ensure all the ingredients are completely combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin Bake for 50 – 65 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  5. If it is browning too much on top whilst cooking then cover the top with foil until the loaf is cooked through.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  7. Once cool, serve sliced with butter

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Bara Brith

Saint David’s Day (or Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant) is just around the corner & other than rugby season, this is when our true Welsh patriotism is near enough unavoidable as we don our daffodils & leeks, singing songs of the green hills of our homeland. The other 364 days of the year we may moan about the rain, the grey skies & how there’s nothing to do here but on this day, there is no better land. Home of dragons (clearly we have the best flag going?), leeks, award-winning coastlines & Caerphilly cheese, Wales isn’t all that bad.

So how do we celebrate our patron saint? Besides dressing up our children in layer upon layer of traditional Welsh dress or rugby jerseys (the boys had it so much easier), we eat! Believe it or not , there are a plethora of Welsh foods to choose from, everything from leek & potato soup, cawl & rarebit to Glamorgan sausages & Welsh cakes. Saint David’s Day is the feast day of Saint David after all.

One such food that is traditionally eaten on not only Saint Davids Day but also at Christmas is bara brith, a leavened bread enriched with dried fruits & flavoured with tea & mixed spices. A very literal naming, bara brith translates as ‘speckled bread’ with ‘bara’ meaning bread in Welsh & ‘brith’ meaning speckled.

Bara brith comes from very humble origins, it would have been the last loaf placed in the dying village oven at the end of the weekly bake. Any leftover dough was gathered up before dried fruit was added to make it a more palatable, sweet loaf. There are several variations on the traditional bara brith, some more of a bread, others more of a cake, something which is entirely down to your tastes & preferences.

However, be it a cake or bread, family recipes for bara brith have been handed down from generation to generation. So rooted in Welsh history is this fruited loaf that you can even find it still being made & sold in tea rooms not only in Wales but also in Patagonia, after Welsh settlers took the recipe with them back in the 1800’s when they arrived in search of a better life in Argentina.

Personally, I love this little tea loaf, not only because it’s ridiculously cheap & simple to make but also, it’s literally made using tea (& we all know how much I like tea)! My recipe for bara brith makes a rich, moist, fruity loaf with a sweet, delicate hint of spice. For me there’s only one way to enjoy a slice of bara brith, with decent (thick) layer of salted butter & a good cup of tea. It also goes well with cheese as part of a cheese board if you’re looking for a more savoury option.


Have Fun Learning English

1 lb self-raising flour
1/2 lb soft brown sugar
1/4 lb butter
1/2 lb currants or sultanas
1 egg
1 lemon
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp treacle
1/2 pint buttermilk
Cold black tea (for soaking the dried fruit)

Method

1. Soak the currants or sultanas in black tea for several hours.
2. Mix the flour, sugar, spice, and bicarb.
3. Strain the fruit and add to the dry ingredients and start to mix.
4. Add the egg, and mix.
5. Add the juice of the lemon and the treacle, and mix.
6. Add the buttermilk bit by bit until the mixture is quite runny.
7. Pour the mixture into a greased baking tin, and bake at 190C for approximately 90 mins. (Loosely cover the top for the first hour, to avoid burning.)
8. Once cooked, turn out and cool.


NOTES

Nutrition

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Calories per serving: 143

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I love the word “Bara Brith”. During my years of living in Wales, the language and the Welsh accent rapidly became one of my favourites in the whole wide world. It’s a very musical language and I do miss hearing it around me..

“Bara Brith” means speckled bread. The traditional recipe calls for lots of dried fruit, soaked in tea overnight and orange zest to give it a little zing. This recipe was quite easily adapted during war years by using marmalade instead of orange juice and orange zest and finely grated carrot could be used to replace some of the fruit. I did just that..

The recipe also only requires one egg (or dried egg) too. Being vegan I used a scoop full of ground flax seed instead which seems quite a good replacement for eggs in baking.

I have only one thing to say on the outcome of this wonderful Welsh fruit bread..


  • 1 pound mixed dried fruit, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly-brewed tea
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten to blend
  • 3 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Place fruit in large bowl. Pour tea over fruit.
  2. Add brown sugar and mix well.
  3. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  5. Add flour, milk, egg, marmalade and cinnamon to soaked fruit mixture. Stir until combined.
  6. Spoon dough into the prepared loaf pan.
  7. Bake until bread is brown and crusty and wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, about 2 hours.
  8. Cool slightly. (Can be prepared up to 4 days ahead. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature.)

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On the second bake of a Welsh Christmas I made a Christmas Bara Brith.

This week I have made up my own Christmas Bara Brith recipe. In Welsh Bara Brith means speckled bread and the speckles are the mixed fruits added to the bread mixture. As this is a Christmas Bara Brith I have added dried cranberries and brandy

Bara Brith takes two days to make as the fruit is soaked in black tea and brandy for a day. Once the fruit has been soaked, flour, mixed spice and egg is added to the fruit and then put into to a bread tin and then baked in the oven for 90minutes. The Bara Brith is cooked when a skewer is inserted in the middle of the Bara Brith and if it comes out clean it is ready to come out of the oven.

Ingredients

Soak the fruits in a bowl overnight with the black tea and brandy. When the fruit has been soaked add the sieved flour, brown sugar, mixed spice and egg to the fruits. If your mixture is slightly hard to mix add a bit more tea. When the mixture has been mixed together place in a lined loaf tin and bake in the oven for 90 minutes.

Bara Brith tastes even nicer when it is a couple of days old so cover in bread foil and store for a couple of days before slicing it and serving with butter.

History says that bBara Brith was the last loaf put into the oven at the end of the weekly bake, adding the fruit to the bread dough made it taste nicer


A Collection Of Welsh Recipes

This is a unique collection of recipes from Wales, collated by OAKDEN. This collection is under copyright (c) Oakden 2011 please do not reproduce elsewhere. These are mostly regional recipes taken from the main Welsh counties, from the 19th and 20th Centuries (1800s and 1900s). Welsh recipes tend to be simple, for the most part, utilising all the fresh ingredients that were available to the locality. The recipes are easy to follow, with modern weights and measures added alongside the old standards for use in the modern kitchen. As more recipes are uncovered this online recipe book will be expanded.

INDEX TO THE RECIPES

PAGE 2 » BARA BRITH (TRADITIONAL SPECKLED BREAD) * BARA BRITH (SPECKLED BREAD-CAKE) * BARA BRITH (MALT) * BARA LAVER (LAVER BREAD) * CAWL (BROTH) * SUMMER BROTH * CAWL CYMREIG (WELSH SOUP) * PICE AR Y MAEN (WELSH CAKES) * TEISEN TINCAR (TINKER’S CAKE) * WELSH CAKES (MONMOUTHSHIRE) * TEISEN BLAT (PLATE CAKE / HARVEST CAKE) * PWDIN EFA (EVE’S PUDDING) * TEISEN AFAL (AVALLON ‘APPLE’ CAKE) *

PAGE 3 » TEISEN CARIAD (LOVE CAKE) * STEAMED APPLE PUDDING * APPLE TART * BARA GWENITH (WHOLEMEAL BREAD) * TEISEN DATWS (POTATO CAKES) * POTATO AND APPLE TURNOVER * POTATO AND CHEESE TURNOVER * POTEN BWMPEN (PUMKIN PIE) * CAWS WEDI EI BOBI (WELSH RAREBIT) * CREMPOG (SMALL PANCAKES) * WELSH PIKELETS (GWENT) * CREMPOG GEIRCH (OATMEAL PANCAKES) *

PAGE 4 » DIOD SINSIR (GINGER BEER) * ELDERFLOWER LEMONADE * NETTLE BEER * DANDELION BEER * MEDD HEN FFASIWN (MEAD OR METHEGLIN) * CYFLAITH (TREACLE TOFFEE) * FFEST Y CYBYDD (THE MISER’S FEAST) * TRELENNOD BLAWD CEIRCH (OATMEAL DUMPLINGS) * CAWL CENNIN (LEEK SOUP) * CHEESE SOUP * OYSTER STUFFED MUTTON * STEWED CARP * GWYDD (GOOSE STUFFED) * TORBWT WEDI EI FOTSIO (POACHED TURBOT) *

PAGE 5 » HAM COOKED WITH CIDER * CIG OEN A MEL (HONEYED LAMB) * SPICED BEEF * CIG EIDION CYMREIG WEDI EI FRWYSIO (WELSH BRAISED BEEF) * TATWS RHOST (POTATO HOT POT) * STWNS RWDAN A LAU * PWDIN REIS (RICE PUDDING) * CREGYN GLEISON (MUSSEL STEW) * BRYTHYLL A CHIG MOCH (TROUT WITH BACON) * PWDIN ERYRI (SNOWDON PUDDING)* TO STEW A BREAST OF VEAL * APRICOCKE WINE *

PAGE 6 » WYAU SIR FON (ANGLESEY EGGS) * PWDIN CAWS POBI CYMREIG (WELSH CHEESE PUDDING) * EOG RHOST (ROAST SALMON) * HWYADEN HALLT CYMREIG (WELSH SALT DUCK) * COLD SALT DUCK * CIG OEN RHOST A SAUCE CRIAFOL (ROAST MUTTON WITH ROWANBERRY SAUCE) * ROAST STUFFED RABBIT * ROAST CHICKEN IN CHICKEN * CAWL LLYSIAU GARDD (GARDEN VEGETABLE SOUP) * RHUBARB AND GOOSEBERRY JAM * PASTOID CENNIN (LEEK PASTIES) * SURYN CYFFAITH POETH (VEAL SAUCE) * KATT PIE *

PAGE 7 » CORGIMYCHIAID / BERDYS (PRAWN OR SHRIMP PASTE) * GWIN MWYAR DUON (BLACKBERRY WINE) * BLACKBERRY CURD * SGADAN (HERRINGS) * SWPER MAM (MOTHER’S SUPPER) * CREMPOG LAS (GREEN PANCKES) * WYSTRYS (OYSTERS – GOWER OYSTER SOUP) * SELSIG SIR FORGANNWG (GLAMORGAN SAUSAGES) * PASTAI FFOWLYN CYMRAEG (WELSH CHICKEN PIE) * TAFELL O GIG LLO RHOST (ROAST FILLET OF VEAL) * SURYN CYFFAITH POETH (VEAL SAUCE) *

PAGE 8 » CARDIGAN BROTH * CACS FFAIR LLANDDAROG (LLANDDAROG FAIR CAKES) * BARA CEIRCH * SIOT * POTTED TROUT * SGADAN ABERGWAUN (FISGUARD HERRINGS) * BARA CEIRCH (OATCAKES) * TEISEN LAP (PLATE CAKE) * RHUBARB TART * BRAISED GAME BIRDS * PASTAI GOCOS (COCKLE PIE) * CAWS POBI (WELSH RAREBIT) * BUCK RAREBIT * CREMPOG FEL (HONEY PANCAKES) * CYW IAR (SPATCHCOCK) *

PAGE 9 » CREMPOG A BWYD MOR (SEA-FOOD PANCAKES) * PWDIN MYNWY (MONMOUTH PUDDING) * WELSH BROTH (A FARMER’S STEW) * FFAGOTS (FAGOTS) * BAKED TROUT WITH BACON * BAKED STUFFED MACKEREL * ROAST WELSH LEG OF LAMB WITH GRAVY * EOG (SALMON) * GOLWYTHAU CIG DAGAD (LAMB CHOPS) * GOLWYTHAU CIG OEN A PHYS (LAMB CHOPS WITH PEAS) * TEISEN GOCOS (COCKLE CAKES) * PUNCHNEP *

PAGE 10 » EISEN NIONOD (ONION CAKE) * LAMB ONION CAKE * CHEESE AND ONION CAKE * TARTEN GENNIN (LEEK TART) * SCALLOPS AND BACON * CACEN GNEIFIO (SHEARING CAKE) * TEISEN GALAN YSTWYLL (TWELFTH NIGHT CAKE) * BARA SINSIR (GINGERBREAD) * GINGER BISCUITS * TEISEN ‘BERFFRO (‘BERFFRO CAKES) * CACEN BOETH (HOT CAKE) * TEISEN FEL (HONEY CAKE) * PEAR AND CHERRY FLAN *

PAGE 11 » CHERRY TART * SPONGE FINGERS / JAM SANDWICHES (CAS-GWENT) * PARSLEY SAUCE * SAWS NIONOD (ONION SAUCE) * SAWS CRIAFOL (ROWANBERRY SAUCE) * SAWS EOG TYEIFI (SALMON SAUCE) * GWLYBWR HUFEN (CREAM SAUCE) * CELERY SAUCE * SAWS GWIN (WINE SAUCE) * LAVER SAUCE * HAM AND LEEK PIE * NYTH CENNIN (LEEK NEST) * WELSH RAREBIT AND ONION BROTH *


Bara Brith Fruit Loaf Recipe

Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the salt, sugar, and fast action yeast. If you are using yeast that is not fast action, then add it to the warm milk at this point instead of with the dry ingredients.

Cut the butter into pieces, then rub into the flour until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the mixed spice, then stir in the egg and warm milk.

When the mixture is reasonably well mixed, turn out and knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes.

Put the dough back in the bowl and cover the top of the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap / clingfilm. Put the bowl in a warm place (I use the top oven set to minimum temperature), and leave to rise for 1½ hours.

When risen, the dough should have doubled in size, if not, then leave to rise a bit longer. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and knead in the mixed fruit. After you kneaded in most of the fruit, you'll probably find you get to a point where the dough won't pick up any more fruit. You'll just have to push this fruit into the dough by hand.

Pat the dough into a rectangular shape, and then place in the tin, ensuring the dough is evenly distributed.

Put the tin inside a plastic bag, ensuring there is space for the dough to rise above the top of the tin without touching the bag. Place in a warm place and leave to rise for 30-45 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F or gas mark 5 or 170°C for a fan oven).

When risen the dough should be above the top of the tin. Remove the plastic bag and place the tin near the bottom of the oven. After 15 minutes the loaf should be lightly browned on top. Cover the top of the tin with a piece of foil and cook for a further 25 minutes.

When cooked turn the loaf out and cool on a wire rack. Brush the top of the loaf with runny honey to give it a sticky sweet top.

Slice and serve spread with butter. The slices also go very well toasted and spread with butter.

Dry ingredients Fat rubbed in Fat rubbed in
Milk and egg added Dough before kneading Kneaded dough
Rising the dough Dough after rising Kneading in the fruit
Dough and tin Dough in tin Cooked loaf
Bara Brith Fruit Loaf Buttered slice of Bara Brith Fruit Loaf


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