Unglazed Bara Brith cooling on rack
Unglazed Bara Brith cooling on rack
 
(Based on a traditional Welsh recipe, this is similar to a tea bread and is usually served buttered, but the malt makes it nice and moist so it is very nice without if you don't want to use it)
 
 
Ingredients:
 
2 & 1/4oz / 63g (ish) Barley malt (weight not that critical to a gram - malt is difficult to handle as it all melts into liquid anyway, but heating the spoon helps) If you put the saucepan onto your weighing scales and adjust to zero, the is easier to weigh straight into the saucepan)
1 oz/25g Dark Muscovado sugar
 
12oz/350g mixed dried fruit (I use 6oz sultanas/6oz raisins/2oz dried sour cherries to give a sharp edge, but any mix is absolutely fine - just whatever you happen to have in the cupboard.
 
Grated rind of 1 organic or unwaxed lemon.
(It's really important that the lemon is organic or unwaxed, as otherwise it may have been treated with a wax containing a fungicide as a preservative - which the outer box may say is "not fit for human consumption"! Obviously as lemons are taken out of the boxes - customers don't get to see this!) I grow a lot of my own citrus fruits in the tunnels but as I'd just finished the last of my organic lemons, I used the grated rind of another type of citrus which I have here, called a Yuzu. It's a wild lemon/mandarin orange hybrid, with very aromatic skin, which all the chefs in London are apparently going mad for! It grows very well in my Irish polytunnel! The juice is about 10 times higher in vitamin C than ordinary lemons and the trees are also more hardy - so it's worth looking out for - or ordering online from specialist nurseries.
 
3/4 pint/425ml of hot strong tea (I make it in the measuring jug using 2 organic teabags) If you like you could replace 1 tablespoon of the tea with whisky or other
 
1 free range or organic egg
 
12oz/350g of 100% plain wholemeal organic spelt flour. You can use ordinary wholemeal plain flour but spelt gives it a lovely flavour and soft moist texture.
 
2 level teaspoons baking powder
 
2 level teaspoons ground cinnamon
 
Grease-proof paper to line the 2lb/900g loaf tin
 
Method:
(Couldn't be easier!)
 
1. Put the fruit, malt, lemon rind and tea into the saucepan - reserving about 25 ml of the tea for later
 
2. Heat everything up in the saucepan until it just reaches simmering point, then remove from the heat immediately, stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved,put a lid on and leave aside to cool completely. (Do this early in the morning and it will be ready to bake in the afternoon or if doing it later - you can leave it to soak overnight and bake it in the morning)
3. Add the lightly whisked/forked egg to the mixture in the saucepan and stir in.
4. Mix the cinnamon and baking powder into the flour, then add to the cooled mixture in the saucepan, mixing well with a spatula or spoon. You may need to add the rest of the tea to get a soft 'dropping consistency' I usually need all the liquid using spelt flour - but it depends on what flour you are using as they all differ slightly in how much liquid they will absorb. (A soft 'dropping ' consistency means it drops off the spoon slowly on it's own, and is not either running off - or needing a hard shake).
 
5. Spoon into the lined loaf tin.
6. Bake at 180 deg C for 50 mins until risen and firm to the touch. Check about 10 mins before end and if browning too much on top cover with a sheet of grease-proof paper. 
 
7. When it's cooked, cool on a wire tray (If you like it extra malty and want to be extra naughty at this stage - you can brush it with more malt while it's hot - this makes the top a bit sticky but extra delicious! What the hell!!) Take the paper off carefully after about 15 mins.
 
8. Serve sliced and buttered if wished. This freezes very well sliced, buttered and wrapped if you're feeding a horde and want to get ahead.
 
My son loves to turn his brack into pudding sometimes - by eating warm with custard! The top of the hot brack brushed with malt after coming out of the oven
My son loves to turn his brack into pudding sometimes - by eating warm with custard!  The top of the hot brack brushed with malt after coming out of the oven

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