Cookbook:Welsh Fruit Bread (Bara Brith) I

Welsh Fruit Bread (Bara Brith) I
CategoryCake recipes
Yield1 loaf

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Welsh cuisine

Bara brith, sometimes known as "speckled bread" (the literal meaning of the original Welsh-language name), is a fruit bread which originated in Wales. It is traditionally made with raisins, Zante currants and candied peel. In Wales the fruit is traditionally soaked overnight in cold tea.

In Argentina, bara brith, which was brought to the country by the Welsh settlers who started arriving in Chubut province in 1865, is known as torta negra ("black cake") and is a traditional food item there.

There are many different recipes for this bread, which is baked and sold commercially in some parts of Wales. This recipe is adapted from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course and Delia Smith's Illustrated Complete Cookery Course.

The bread has a limited shelf life and is best eaten as soon as possible.

Ingredients edit

Procedure edit

  1. Warm the milk in a small pan until hand-hot. Put it into a bowl with 1 teaspoon of sugar and the yeast. Leave it in a warm place for about 15 minutes until a froth appears.
  2. Sift the flour and place in a large bowl with 2 oz (50 g) sugar and the salt. Rub the fat into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the mixed spice. Add the egg and frothed yeast. Mix to a dough in the bowl before turning it out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place back into a bowl and cover with plastic film or a damp cloth. Leave it to rise in a warm place for about 90 minutes.
  3. After it has been left to stand, 'knock down' the dough and knead again, adding the fruit slowly.
  4. Place into a bread tin and put the tin into an oiled plastic bag. Leave to rise for about 35–40 minutes and preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 190°C (375°F).
  5. When the dough has risen and springs back when pressed, take the tin out of the bag and bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes.
  6. Cover the top of the loaf tin with aluminium foil to stop it burning and bake for another 30 minutes.
  7. Take out of the oven and tap the bottom of the loaf, which should sound hollow—if not, bake it for another 5 minutes.
  8. Brush the honey onto the top of the loaf and cool it on a wire rack. Slice it thinly and serve buttered.