Bara Brith

With St David’s Day coming up soon, I’ve been flicking through my little book “Favourite Welsh Tea Time Recipes” which I got from a little shop in the Gower, where we go camping every year. I think it’s a book you can get in a lot of gift shop type places in Wales, and there are probably English, Scottish and Irish versions all over too. But I got mine down the Gower, and so just reading the book makes me feel happy feels. Good memories.

Despite having read the small recipe book cover to cover at least a hundred times, I think I’ve only made one recipe from it, and that is the traditional Welsh treat, Bara Brith, which means Fruit Loaf. But it tastes better when you use its Welsh name…obviously 😉

As the book suggests, this is a great tea time recipe, but I’m also partial to it as a breakfast alternative! Any guesses as to why I’m trying to lose weight! No, it’s not something I eat for every breakfast, I rarely bake this more than once a year really, but I always mean to. It fills this house with such comforting smells!

10oz mixed dried fruit (today I used a mix of raisins and sultanas, because it’s what was in the cupboard!)

2/3 pint hot tea (no milk)

3oz soft brown sugar

Grated rind of 1 lemon

12oz self raising wholemeal flour (I’ve made this with white flour before and that’s fine too)

1 tsp mixed spice

1 large egg

Soak the dried fruit in the hot tea, cover and leave to stand overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 180c, and prepare a 2lb loaf tin (grease, or be lazy like me and use the paper liners!)

Strain the fruit, and reserve the liquid.

In a large bowl, mix the fruit together with the rest of the ingredients.

Add the reserved liquid a little at a time, until a soft dropping consistency is reached. If, like me, you’ve left the fruit stand for too long (and they’ve soaked up more liquid than you need to reach the right consistency) just add a little water or tea if you’ve got some cooled. I used water because I couldn’t be bothered to wait for tea to cool!

Pour the mix into the tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch.

Once cool serve sliced and buttered.

I’d recommend baking this when you’ve got visitors due, it’ll make your house smell scrummy, and it’ll stop you eating the entire loaf. Unless you’ve baked it just for yourself, in which case, enjoy!

Mrs H xxx
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