Barm Brack can contain raisins, sultanas, and even statues of the Virgin Mary. But it always contains a good helping of Irish tradition.
A lot of people who grew up in Ireland have fond memories of eating Barm Brack at Halloween, praying for the slice that contained the penny or ring. But you can enjoy it even if there aren’t any carved pumpkins on the porch. Our recipe today comes from the Baking Academy of Ireland. These Dublin cooks sure know how to scare up some bread (and cakes, and scones, and many other yummy doughy things), and they’ve been very glad to share their recipe with us.
1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cup flour
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup milk
- 1 medium egg
- About 1 tablespoon fresh yeast
- ¼ cup butter
- A bit less than 3 tablespoons caster sugar. Though very fine granulated sugar works too!
- Eggs or vegetable oil for egg wash, to taste.
- Raisins, sultanas, mixed peel, etc. to taste. Though the more the better!
- Sift the salt and the flour together in a mixing bowl.
- Mix in the water, milk, egg and yeast. Using your hands, mix it into a soft dough.
- Place the bowl containing the mixed dough onto a plastic bag. Let it sit for about 20 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together. Use an electric whisk!
- Mix this creamed mixture into the dough. Be sure to mix it in very well!
- Cover the bowl and let it sit for another 20 minutes.
- Add in desired fruit to the mix. Again, mix well! Afterward, let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into two halves, then shape it into round balls (use as little dusting flour as possible). Let the balls rest for 10 minutes.
- Reshape the dough into a large ball again. Set into a greased 6-inch hoop or round cake shape. Egg wash, and set aside for 50 minutes.
- Bake at 395 degrees F for 35 minutes. Phew!