The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bara brith

sayersbrock's picture

Bara brith

My first blog post is about this wonderfully classic teacake with a rich tradition.  Back when bread dough was prepared at home and then baked in the village baker's oven, bara brith (Welsh translation is mottled or speckled bread) was usually the leftover scraps of dough thrown together and sweetened with dried fruit. 

It did, however, grow into a standardized loaf consumed during teatime, still filled with an abundance of dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants, cranberries...). 

My version includes raisins, currants, and chopped dates soaked in sweetened Earl grey tea. Enriched with butter, an egg, and orange marmalade, it made for the stickiest dough I've ever worked with. I became a quick convert to the slap and fold technique after failing to knead with other techniques.

Michael Brock


gillpugh's picture

Very nice bara brith.  Lovely tea time treat. I like mine cut very thin and spread with good salty butter.  I've never used marmalade in it, or cranberries, but they both sound lovely.  

Cedarmountain's picture

Your bara brith loaves remind me of a tea bread my Irish mother in law used to bake.  It was a traditional Gaelic bread she called barmbrack (báirín breac). I think she may have soaked the raisins in a bit of good Irish whiskey for her bread!  Well baked Michael, a nice treat for your afternoon tea!

PalwithnoovenP's picture

Sounds lovely! Perfect with some earl grey which is my favorite tea.