A few weeks ago I was contacted by one of my flour customers asking if I had a recipe for barm brack.
I’d vaguely heard of this but have to confess to never having made it.
Barm brack is a traditional Irish fruit bread that is usually made around Halloween.
The tradition was to hide objects in the bread to be used as a fortune telling game.
When my customer told me that she had been unsuccessful in making the bread gluten-free I felt a challenge come on.
I asked her to send me her ‘usual’ recipe and I set about ‘deglutening’ it. Is that a word? Well it is now.
The best thing about this bread is that it is incredibly simple. Much like a soda bread, it relies on bicarbonate of soda for its rise and thus is a yeast-free bread.
In addition to that, I think you could soak the dried fruit in whatever you liked. I chose to soak it in chai tea for added flavour, but I have a feeling that a little alcohol would be rather yummy too! You can of course, just use water.
Making the recipe literally took 5 minutes and the result was a rather satisfying tea loaf. I served mine with a little slather of butter, but it was equally delicious without.
Like soda bread it doesn’t last so any bread uneaten on the day you bake it is best sliced and frozen. A quick blast in the microwave is all it will need to bring it back to full glory.
Barm Brack: Irish Fruit Bread
- 225 g raisins or mixed dried fruit
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 225 ml boiling tea or water
- 225 g Gluten-Free Plain Flour I used my Free From Fairy blend
- 2 tsp psyllium husk or 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 50 g coconut sugar I used Coconut Merchant
- 1 tsp cinnamon not required if using chai tea like I did
Place the raisins, salt, bicarbonate of soda and boiling tea or water into a large bowl and leave to soak for around 20 minutes
Add the flour, psyllium, sugar and cinnamon and mix until well combined
Place into a greased 1lb loaf tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees C (170 degree fan) for around 40 minutes until golden
Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely
Alternatively slice and enjoy while hot
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