Sunday, 6 November 2016

Irish Barmbrack

Barmbrack is a lovely yeast bread packed full of tea soaked dried fruit. It's perfect for breakfast or a snack with a cup of tea or coffee.

I made this lovely sweet, fruity bread at the request of my husband. He loves loaves and cakes packed with raisins. When he asked for a barmbrack I had no idea what he wanted but after a bit a research (combining my favourite parts of three different recipes from cookbooks I brought in Ireland!) I made him this lovely bread. I got a big tick of approval so here it is!

I love baking yeast-based breads. Yes, they are time consuming but not difficult and always satisfying and much better than store brought equivalents. 

The thing I love most about this bread is the tea soaked fruit. Soaking the fruit overnight in a strong black tea gives then fruit a beautiful plumpness and the bread an incredible flavour.

This loaf keeps very well so it's a great one to bake on a Sunday and eat as a quick breakfast or snack all through the week. Just be sure to serve the slices with lashings of butter!

I've baked my bread in a round cake tin but you could use whatever you like.

Irish Barmbrack

Makes one loaf

300 mL strong black tea, cold
1 Cup mixed peel
1 Cup currants
1 Cup raisins
4 Cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 Cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp mixed spice
1 tsp white sugar
300 mL lukewarm milk
15 g yeast
50 g butter
2 eggs, beaten

1. Soak the fruit overnight in the tea.

2. Sift the flour, mixed spice, and salt together in a large bowl, Add brown sugar and the butter.

3. Add the white sugar to the lukewarm milk and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set aside for about 15 minutes until the yeast has activated (the bowl will be very frothy!).

4. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and add the beaten eggs. Mix until everything comes together.

5. Either knead the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface (for about 8 minutes), or in a mixer with the dough hook attached (for about 5 minutes).

6. Fold through the fruit and knead for another 2 minutes or so.

7. Put the dough into a greased 20 cm cake tin, cover with a tea towel, and leave to prove for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 200 C during this time.

8. Bake the bread for 1 hour, until the top of the bread is a deep golden brown. When removed from the tin, the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.


  1. Nicole, I am not familiar with barmbrack, but after reading through the ingredients and directions, I am definitely intrigued! What a great home-baked holiday gift!

  2. I've never heard of this Nicole. Sounds yummy!

  3. I've never heard of this bread before. I love the sound of it. It would be perfect alongside my mid morning cup of coffee!

  4. Gosh, so much better than that awful fruit cake. Yours looks delicious!!!