The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bara Brith

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Bara Brith

Hello,
Awhile ago I'd found elra's post on wildyeastblog.com about Bara Brith - I've been wanting to try making this lovely-sounding fruit-and-spice Welsh 'speckled' bread ever since.
I've got Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery on loan from the libary; there's a recipe for Bara Brith in her book too.
This is my variation of Bara Brith, based on elra's and Elizabeth's. 
I was delighted with the light, cakey, tender and flavorful! result:

Both loaves, and a crumb shot (top slice separated upon slicing...couldn't wait until it was completely cool to slice and taste!):
 

 

Ingredients (for 2 x 450g loaves)

Weight in grams

Baker's %

 

 

 

Bread flour

335

83%

Red Fife 75% whole wheat flour

67

17%

Milk

202

50.2%

Eggs, whole (= 1 large egg)

53

13.2%

Yeast instant, osmotolerant

9

2.2%

Sugar, demerara

58

14.4%

Salt

6

1.5%

Unsalted butter, 70F

64

15.9%

Currants

26

6.5%

Raisins, dark

26

6.5%

Raisins, golden

26

6.5%

Orange peel, candied, diced

26

6.5%

Sweet spice blend

2

0.5%

 

 

 

Total

900

224%


 

(1) Soak currants and raisins overnight in strong, cold tea.

(2) The next day, bring milk, egg, and butter to room temperature. Drain the currants and raisins. Add diced candied orange peel to currants and raisins.

(3) Mix together sweet spices to your liking, to equal 2 grams. I used .7 g freshly grated nutmeg, .7 g allspice, and .2 g each of cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

(4) Whisk milk, egg and salt together to combine, in bowl.

(5) Blend flours, yeast and sugar in a larger, mixing bowl.

(6) Add milk and egg mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. I used a dough whisk to combine the ingredients.

(7) Kneaded on the counter until the dough windowpaned (improved mix).

(8) Kneaded in the spices, and then the butter in five additions, ensuring each addition of butter was kneaded in before adding the next. I tried to make sure the butter stayed inside the dough, so I wasn't touching/melting the butter with my hands while kneading. The dough became sticky as I was kneading in the butter. I dusted the counter lightly once or twice with flour and used a dough scraper to pick the dough up off the counter, as needed.

(9) Gradually knead in the fruit mixture until fruit is incorporated. I tried to keep the fruit within the dough and not have any pieces sticking out.

(10) Bulk ferment at 80F for two hours, with S&F at one hour.

(11) Shape, preheat oven & stone to 425F, proof for about 45 minutes to one hour at room temperature (70F).

(12) Score, bake with steam, 400 for 10 minutes, 375 for remainder of bake (30 minutes total). After 20 minutes of baking, I rotated the loaves and covered with foil to prevent overbrowning.  Let cool on rack before slicing.


I'm very happy to have discovered this bread!
Happy baking everyone,
from breadsong

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Very nice!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thank you, Floyd!

Syd's picture
Syd

Lovely, breadsong!  I thought the name sounded familiar.  I have a recipe for it in one of my books, too.  Just flipped over it all these years.  Thought the name was interesting but never really looked at the recipe.  Your post has made we want to try it. :)

Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Syd, I was so happy with this bread today and I hope if you make it you're just as pleased!
Thank you so much, from breadsong

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What a beauty!  It certainly looks delicious.  I like the idea of soaking the fruit in strong English tea...I have that every morning. 

I've put this one on the 'to do list'!

Sylvia

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thank you Sylvia. You'll be able to use some of your own, beautiful candied orange peel!
from breadsong

hanseata's picture
hanseata

and your breads look much more attractive than the original post, too.

Karin

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Karin, I though elra's crumb shot was really nice; a good distribution of fruit, and her bright orange peel really showed up well (I might not dice my orange peel so finely next time). I did want a lighter-colored loaf & tented with foil partway during the bake. Thanks for your kind words! from breadsong