Although traditionally a Welsh recipe in the UK, variants
of this rich fruit loaf are common to most Celtic countries.
The recipe for bara brith (which means speckled bread)
varies from cook to cook and town to town, throughout
Wales. Some recipes include treacle or honey others
include different spices or require that the fruit
be soaked overnight in tea. For instance, in Glamorgan
a similar long fruit loaf is made using
currants and spices such as nutmeg.
The following recipe makes 3 x 1 lb (450 g) loaves.
Ingredients for Bara Brith
- enough fresh (or dried) yeast to raise 3 lb flour.
- 12 oz (350 g) of lard or butter (or a mix of both)
- 3 lb (1.4 kg) plain flour
- 12 oz (350 g) of brown sugar
- 1 lb (450 g) currants
- 4 oz (110 g) candied peel
- 1 lb (450 g) raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 medium eggs
How to Make Bara Brith
- Mix the yeast with a little warm milk (or
as per packet instructions).
- Rub the fat (lard or butter) into the flour.
- Add all the other ingredients except for the eggs
and yeast and mix well.
- Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add
the yeast and eggs and mix to form a soft dough.
- Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for about
1 to 2 hours, until it has risen to twice its size.
- Prepare three greased 1 lb loaf tins and keep in
a warm place until ready.
- Using a floured board, divide the dough into
three and fill each loaf tin and stand again in a warm
place for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Bake the cakes for 20 minutes, then turn down to 180°C
and cook for a further 40 minutes.
- Turn out onto wire racks to cool and glaze with
Once the cakes have cooled, cut into thin slices
and serve with lashings of fresh butter.
Other recipes to try: Lincolnshire Plum Loaf | Saffron Cake | Recipe Index