Welsh Bara Brith
A traditional sweet bread for tea time and breakfast in Wales and throughout the UK. Enriched with tea soaked fruit, it is perfect for tea time.
This is a common breakfast fruitcake in Wales and often served at tea time throughout the UK. What scones are to Scotland, Bara Brith is to the Welsh with every family having their own recipe. There are two versions of Bara Brith. Traditionally, bara brith was a yeast bread with dried fruit. However, many modern versions of bara brith have now transformed it to a tea cake,made with self rising flour.
Bara Brith is also common in Argentina, known there as Torta Negra (Black Cake). It was brought there by Welsh settlers who arrived in 1865 to Chubot. Chubot Province, located in southern Argentina, still has the largest percentage of Welsh Argentines, with approximately 25,000 Welsh speakers.
Translated literally as speckled bread, the large grain sugar crystals give it the speckled look. I used Sugar in the Raw/Demarara, however using crushed sugar cubes would create an even better speckled effect.
..and if you prefer savory for breakfast, try Welsh Glamorgan Vegetaarian Sausages!
Sweet or savory, I think I will be loving the Welsh breakfasts when I get the opportunity to visit Wales!
The key to delicious Welsh Bara Brith is soak the fruit overnight in good strong black tea!
IN THE MAKING – HOW TO MAKE WELSH BARA BRITH
Welsh Bara Brith
- 14 oz. mixed dried fruit I used apricots, dates and currants, quartering the dates and apricots
- 2 1/2 cups of strong black tea I used 2 tablespoons Ceylon steeped for 7 minutes
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 heaped tablespoons orange marmalade use British marmalade which is bitter; not sweet like American marmalade
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups self rising flour
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 cup Sugar in the Raw coarse demarara/turbinado sugar
- Soak fruit (including cranberries) in tea overnight.
- Grease a loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Melt butter and marmalade in a saucepan. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Add the butter-marmalade and mix well.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and spices. Add marmalade combo and mix well.
- Drain tea from the fruit. Add fruit and milk to the flour and mix well.
- Spoon into prepared pan and level off the top.
- Sprinkle the raw sugar or crushed sugar cubes on top. (don’t be concerned about this amount of sugar topping as the batter is not very sweet itself, therefore even with this sugar topping, the end result does not give you a very sweet product)
- Bake for 1 1/4 hours until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before slicing.
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