Bara brith

Discussion in 'Baking, Bread Making and Cakes' started by Wandering Bob, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Wandering Bob

    Wandering Bob Active Member

    Location:
    France
    It's already intolerably hot here - and it's still only mid-morning. Trying to stay positive, my thoughts are turning to much cooler autumn days. Late afternoons, a hint of woodsmoke in the air, coming back from a long ride on my bike, sipping some herbal tea - and maybe a slice (or two) of bara brith, that wonderful Welsh fruit bread.

    I have very fond memories of my Welsh grandmother's version of this - but I've never made it. I've had a good rummage through my recipe archive and found three possible recipes to follow. Elizabeth David's (from the 1950s), my grandmother's own recipe (probably even older) and her mother's - which is so short on detail that it couldn't properly be described as a recipe at all.

    My grandmother and great-grandmother both used self-raising flour to make bara brith and their recipes contain (to my eyes anyway) excessively long oven times - up to 2 hours. Elizabeth David's recipe is for a yeast-leavened bread - and contains some ingredients that I'll never be able to source in France.

    Does anyone have a 21st century recipe for bara brith? Anyone in Wales or the Welsh borders able to help me please? @remedial_gash or @epicuric ? anyone else ?
     
  2. Kake Lover

    Kake Lover Senior Member Staff Member

    Location:
    Manchester
    I'll ask my mum when I visit her next week.
    I think she uses SR flour.
     
    Wandering Bob likes this.
  3. remedial_gash

    remedial_gash Member

    Location:
    Wales, UK
    The oven time sounds about right, my grandmother used to boil cabbage for several hours, unfortunately without the aid of a Ouija board and some blind faith I couldn't ask her for any recipes, I remember hers being heavy on dried fruit, and various 'warm' spices - think mulled wine.
     
  4. MypinchofItaly

    MypinchofItaly Über Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    Location:
    Milano (Italy)
    Unfortunately I can not help but it looks like a very delicious cake ... I wait to read the recipe
     
  5. MypinchofItaly

    MypinchofItaly Über Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    Location:
    Milano (Italy)
  6. Wandering Bob

    Wandering Bob Active Member

    Location:
    France
    Thank you for the suggestions. If no-one in the forum can offer me a current recipe, then I shall look elsewhere.


    You wouldn't want to eat it right now (è troppo caldo) but it is a very good bread/cake for autumn or winter. As @remedial_gash says above, it's fruity and spicy
     
  7. MypinchofItaly

    MypinchofItaly Über Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    Location:
    Milano (Italy)
    Oh no, not for now, seen the scorching heat here too. But it is an interesting recipe to be archived for the autumn/wintertime
     
  8. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    It might be worth looking at this webpage: https://historyofbread.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/bara-brith/
    A recipe included which sounds easy to make. It uses yeast which is how it would have been made originally, I think.

    It also begs the question; is it a bread or a cake? Looks like a cake to me!
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  9. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    This article in the Spectator also has a recipe - using self raising flour rather than yeast and bread flour. I'm coming round to thinking its a fruit bread not a cake and I'd be inclined to make it with yeast and bread flour.

    I have all the ingredients...
     
  10. Wandering Bob

    Wandering Bob Active Member

    Location:
    France
    which article, please?
     
  11. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    Sorry I missed the link out.

    https://life.spectator.co.uk/2018/02/recipe-bara-brith/

    Here is an extract:

     
  12. Wandering Bob

    Wandering Bob Active Member

    Location:
    France
    That's a very interesting read, thank you. I'll check the link in more detail to retrieve the recipe.

    Does your "I have all the ingredients" comment imply that you're thinking of making one? it really isn't the time of year for it. Unless we're heading for a cold snap which would be delightful, of course...
     
  13. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    I do intend to make one. I think its fine to have a nice slice of fruit loaf for tea even in summer. :)
     
  14. epicuric

    epicuric Über Member Staff Member

    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
  15. Wandering Bob

    Wandering Bob Active Member

    Location:
    France
    Thanks @epicuric

    I'm beginning to think that bara brith disappeared for a generation (or two). I guess I was lucky that my grandmother kept the tradition going in the 1950s/60s, otherwise I'd never have heard of it either.
     

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