Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Barm Brack Bread

Barm brack is a traditional Irish fruit bread. In old times, people would bake a ring, a coin, and a thimble into the bread and, on Halloween night, each young maiden was served a slice of the bread. The ring meant marriage, the coin meant wealth, and the thimble symbolized spinster. This recipe for barm brack makes two regular loaves or 6 mini loaves.




Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 5 cups bread flour, about
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup glazed fruit mix


  1. Put water, milk, and butter in saucepan and heat to warm. Remove from burner and set aside.

  2. In large bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and lemon peel.

  3. When water mixture is lukewarm, pour into dry ingredients and mix.

  4. Mix in 2 eggs.

  5. Mix in enough flour to make a stiff dough.

  6. Turn dough out onto floured board and knead for about 5 minutes.

  7. Put dough in greased bowl. Flip dough over in bowl so that the top of the dough is also greased.

  8. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 45 minutes, or until double in size.

  9. Punch down. Turn out onto floured board.

  10. Knead in raisins and fruit.

  11. Divide dough into 2 equal parts for two regular loaves or into 6 equal parts to make 6 mini loaves. Form parts into loaves.

  12. Grease bread pans and set loaves in pans. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 30 minutes or until double in size.

  13. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when top is tapped.

  14. Turn out onto rack and let cool.

  15. Bread can be wrapped in foil, bagged, and frozen for later when it is completely cool.
Source: Elizabeth Yetter,

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