Mary Berry Bara Brith Recipe
Mary Berry Bara Brith Recipe essentially refers to a Welsh seasoned bread that derives its flavor from tea and other dried fruit that are soaked either overnight or longer. Some variations of this recipe use spices as well to add flavor to it. This type of cake is still made traditionally at home in certain parts of Argentina, though its recipe has fallen into disuse over the years.
What Is The Meaning Of Bara Brith?
Bara Brith is a Welsh word that translates to “Speckled Bread.” This is obviously due to the fruit that is speckled all over the bread. There are some who refer to it by its Anglicised name of speckled bread as well today.
When Is This Usually Served?
Traditionally this bread is baked for the Feasts of Saints or more often on Christmas. There are many versions of this cake made all over the World on Christmas Day or for the Holiday Season.
The History Of Bara Brith
Traditionally this bread was made in tiny villages all over Wales. Once all the bread for the day had finished baking, all the leftover fruit was gathered and this loaf was baked out of that. It was hence the last item to be baked and has risen from humble origins to become a popular form of tea cake in today’s day.
Is It Bread? Is It Cake?
Traditionally Bara Brith was a loaf of spiced bread with a touch of sweetness that was enjoyed at tea. However, over the years with different variations of it springing up, the bread metamorphosed into the cake. Today, there are versions of this recipe that will yield a cake and others that will yield bread. The proportions of this recipe can be manipulated to get what best suits your needs.
- 375 gm mixed, dried fruit
- 250 gm light muscovado sugar
- 300 ml strong tea
- Butter to grease the baking dish
- 300 gm self-rising flour
- 1 whole egg, beaten
Method of Preparation
- Brew a strong tea and soak the dried fruit in it.
- Add sugar to this mix.
- Cover and keep aside to steep overnight or for 8 hours minimum.
- Preheat your oven to 150C and prepare your baking tins by greasing them and lining them with parchment paper.
- Stir in the fruit mix and add in the eggs.
- Sift the four over this mixture and mix it in with a light hand until it just begins to come together.
- Put this batter into a baking loaf tin. If you feel that the top is uneven, you can run the back of a spoon over it to smoothen out any bumps or cracks.
- Bake it in an evenly heated oven for 11/2 to 1 ⅓ hour.
- The bread should be a dark golden brown and firm when you want to remove it from the oven.
- Let it cool in the tray for around 20 minutes.
- Once it has cooled in the tray, turn it onto a wire rack and let it cool down completely.
Tips For The Best Bara Brith
- Warm tea works best for soaking the fruit as the warmth causes the fruit to diffuse more of its flavor.
- Do not overwork the dough or you will end up with a stiff loaf that won’t rise too well and will harden once it cools.
- Make sure that your oven is able to maintain the temperature as this loaf needs to be baked at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. An oven thermometer is helpful in this circumstance.
- To check if the cake is done, you can insert a clean knife into the center. If it comes out clean that means that the loaf is ready to be removed from the oven.
- Always let the cake cool in the baking tin before taking it out as otherwise, you run the risk of the cake sticking to the end of the baking dish and deforming while being unmoulded.
- Let the bread rest for at least 1 hour before you cut into it. This will give the flavors a chance to mature. Some people even wait for a day before cutting into it.
Bara Brith is a traditional recipe that has traveled over the World. The Welsh citizens carried it with them when they migrated to different parts of the World. Take a look at many more such recipes on our blog foodiewish.com