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Barmbrack bread with specks of dried fruit sprinkled around

Barmbrack Bread

  • Author: Shelagh
  • Prep Time: 20 + soaking time
  • Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, mostly hands-off time
  • Yield: 12+ 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Irish

Description

Speckled with fruit, this rich bread is delicious when toasted, and slathered in butter. Enjoy!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (75g) raisins (or dried cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup (75g) golden raisins (also called sultanas)
  • 1/4 cup (38g) pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (38g) dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (38g) crystallized ginger, chopped (and optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly made strong black tea (use two bags)
  • 1/2 cup (170g) honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Dry Ingredients

  • 6 cups (678g) white whole wheat flour (or half white flour half whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup (40g) wheat bran
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (affiliate link)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or pie spice)

Instructions

  1. In a heat-proof bowl or glass measuring cup, steep the dried fruit* in the hot tea for at least 1-hour or overnight. After soaking, add honey, vanilla, and egg.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, add all the dry ingredients. Add the dried fruit and tea mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture. Knead on medium-low speed for about 7-8 minutes. It will be a somewhat sticky dough. Turn out onto a board lightly dusted with flour, knead by hand for a few minutes until the dough feels smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let rise for about 2 hours (until doubled in size) in a warm place**.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and divide into 2-3 equal loaves—place in three 6″ (or two 9″) buttered round pans. Let rise again, about 1 hour, again in a warm place. 
  4. Place in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, until bread is golden and hollow sounding when tapped. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely before digging in!


Notes

*any combination of dried fruit will work here.
**I find an oven with the light turned on is a nice cozy, draft-free place for the bread to rise. Be sure to take the dough out before preheating though (been there, it’s not a pretty scene)!


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Makes 3 small round loaves or 2 larger loaves

Keywords: barmbrack yeast recipe, Irish Halloween Bread, Báirín Breac, Easy fruit bread, Traditional Irish Bread, Celtic New Year

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