Monday, March 7, 2022

Barm Brack

This is a delicious Irish bread that is made with lots of dried fruits and spices! This can be served with a schmear of butter and tea for breakfast or for teatime. The name translates to speckled bread and is made at Halloween. 

The dried fruits are soaked in strong tea and that sounds fabulous. I used two black tea bags steeped in a cup of water for this recipe. I followed Paul Hollywood's recipe. I followed his recipe mostly but changed the measurements to cups for easy measurement. I have used aquafaba for egg substitute and the made a loaf that is similar to Paul's. Isn't it a great achievement. Inside I felt like dancing when I was trying to compare the results. I guess my family read my mind! We loved this loaf!

Do you love raisin bread? Then, this bread is for you! Dried fruits soaked in tea and spices are mixed in this recipe. The recipe calls for mixed spice, I used my pie spice mix and it worked great. This is a very flavorful bread and we devoured sliced of the bread as such, toasted, and smeared with butter. I did use a mix of dried fruits. I used raisins, sultanas, dried cherries, and dried cranberries. Chopped dried apricots can also be used. Or use just raisin or what you have on hand.

The original recipe uses instant yeast. I had only active dry yeast. So I used one and a quarter teaspoon of active dry yeast and activated it with milk and brown sugar. If you are using instant yeast, use one teaspoon of it and skip the activation step.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Wendy hosting this month and asked the others to join me in sharing Irish Breads in honor of St. Patrick's Day which is right around the corner.  

Paul Hollywood's British Baking is an amazing book and love his recipes. This book is divided into seven sections according to the regions and he features different bakes of each region and in ful; detail. As usual the results leave you speechless! Tasty bakes makes the entire family very happy. I have made a few recipes and loved them. His recipes are detailed and lots of pictures to help you through. I loved Lemon Buns, Halloween Pudding, Stottie cakes, Eccles Cakes. I am still to try Bara Birth and Bakewell tart and a few other recipes. The results are absolutely delicious and I would recommend a personal copy of this book. This month, in an other group, we are sharing Irish breads, and I tried his recipe. I made a  loaf that was almost similar to his and isn't it amazing! I used egg substitute and made the bread with similar results. We loved this tasty loaf! I am also linking this delicious bread to March 2022 Foodies Read.

Like this delicious Irish bread, we love the potato pancakes, Boxty. These are amazing recipes to try for St. Patrick's Day! I am also linking this to Sundays on Silverado, What's For Dinner, Happiness is Homemade, and Share The Wealth.

Makes 1 large loaf

Mixed dried fruits - 1 cup/200g
Hot, strong black tea - 250 ml
Bread flour - 2and 1/3 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Butter - @2tbsp/25 g, softened
Active dry yeast - 1.25 tsp
Milk - 1/3 cup, 80 ml
Brown sugar- 1 tbsp
Aquafaba - 3 tbsp
Water - 3 tbsp
Ground cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
Pie/mixed spice - 1/2 tsp


Place the dried fruits in  a bowl and pour the hot and strong tea. Soak it overnight.

Next day, when stating to make  barm brack, activate the yeast with warm milk and brown sugar.

Add the flour, salt, aquafaba, butter, and yeast mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the kneading hook. Turn the speed on low and knead (for five minutes) the bread to a smooth dough adding three tablespoons of water as necessary.

Drain the soaked dried fruits, and discard the tea. Add the soaked dried fruits, cinnamon, and mixed spice to the stand mixer and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes, until the dried fruits are mixed and distributed evenly.

Cover and let the dough rise for 2-3 hours to double. The dough doubled in almost two and a half hours.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and fold the dough inwards to release all the air. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a baking sheet. Cover and let it prove for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the loaf for 22 minutes, until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Slice, and serve with butter.

Let's see what everyone baked up for us today......Thanks, Wendy!


  1. Your loaf turned out gorgeous and thanks for the cookbook review as well. I will have to check it out.

    1. That's a great book to have as a collection. Thanks, Wendy!

  2. Great St.Patrick's Day food! Soaking the fruits in tea is a neat idea.

    best... mae at

    1. Yes,it gave a great taste too! Thank Mae for stopping by!

  3. This bread looks fabulous!! I'll have to try that book!

  4. Love "Paul Hollywood's British Baking"! He gets a lot of flack for being the hard judge on the Great British Bake Off but he does know his stuff about bread. Lovely barm brack, Rahda!

  5. Looks delicious! I love that the fruit is macerated in tea, such a great addition of subtle flavor.

  6. This sounds so good. I've printed it to try this week - pinned it too! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Hope your week has been amazing!