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Barmbrack Bread - A traditional Samhain treat

Barmbrack Bread


I really enjoy making this traditional Irish bread at Samhain. It connects me to the ancestors that I remember.


It’s easy to make, but it does require some planning.  The dried fruit needs to soak over night (or at least 6 hours.) Also it does taste better when it has set for a day after baking.


This gives you time to infuse this recipe with your love and intentions. You can form it into a round or use loaf pans.  I like to use mini loaf pans so I can share.


Ingredients:


3 CUPS MIXED DRIED FRUIT, RAISINS, CURRANTS, GOLDEN RAISINS, OR DRIED CRANBERRIES

1 ¼ CUPS STRONG BLACK TEA MADE WITH

2 TEA BAGS (I used 1 Earl Gray and 1 English Breakfast) STEEPED FOR AT LEAST 10 MIN.

2-3 TABLESPOONS WHISKY OR BOURBON (OPTIONAL)

1 EGG

240 GM FLOUR

210 GM PACKED LIGHT BROWN SUGAR

2 ½ TEASPOONS BAKING SODA

½ TEASPOON SALT

1 ½ TEASPOON CINNAMON

½ TEASPOON NUTMEG

½ TEASPOON GROUND GINGER

¼ TEASPOON GROUND CLOVES


  1. Combine tea, bourbon/whiskey, and dried fruit. Mix well cover bowl and set in the refrigerator once the tea has cooled. Soak for at least 6 hours, 24 hours is preferred.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  3. Grease pans or line with parchment.

  4. Combine flour and brown sugar in a small bowl.

  5. Combine spices, salt, and baking soda in another small bowl

  6. Slowly whisk spices into flour and brown sugar. Be sure to break up lumps.

  7. Beat 1 egg and combine with fruit.

  8. Slowly fold the fruit into the dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon ensuring all dry ingredients are worked in.

  9. Hold your hands over the mixture. Set your intentions for those who will partake.  Thank your ancestors.  Remember them.

  10. Form a round loaf or pour into loaf pans.

  11. Baking times will vary.  If you make 1 large loaf, it make take 60-90 minutes. I used 3 small loaf pans and it took about 45 minutes. Be sure to rotate halfway through. When it is firm to the touch it is done.

    1. Remember when setting your timer: You can always add time, but you cannot take it away.


Traditionally, trinkets, rings, or coins were wrapped in parchment and baked in the bread. I am concerned about the cleanliness of the coins or what chemicals may leach from trinkets.  You can always wrap these up and place one under each slice as you serve it.


This bread has tea in it.  Do not panic if it looks dark. The tea and the caramelized fruit sugars can make this look deep brown.


Serve it warm with butter.  Wish the living a prosperous year ahead and thank your ancestors for getting you here. Samhain Blessings!






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