Bara Brith - Welsh Loaf Teacake
Welsh Recipes Bara Brith / Welsh Loaf Teacake
The Museum of Welsh Life s a large country estate, dominated by a castle and within the grounds they have brought together genuine old Welsh buildings and reconstructed them brick by brick on the site. It's a free entry tourist attraction, with good parking, just outside Cardiff.
When you wander round the grounds, you come across old Welsh houses, Welsh farms, mills and even a full church - but also there's a central village area where you can buy Welsh bread and Welsh cakes. The Derwen Bakehouse bakes and sells Bara Brith direct from the oven to tourists - and you can pick up some St Fagans Welshcake as we called it!
It was here that I first tried some Bara Brith. Bara Brith is a tasty fruit loaf and I loved it so much I just had to find out how to make it and bake it at home. This bara brith Welsh recipe is simple to make, so make yourself some St Fagans Welshcake from this recipe and relax!
I've now found out how to make it and usually make a loaf every couple of weeks. Here is the Bara Brith recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
What is Bara Brith?
Bara Brith is simply a Welsh fruit loaf or tea cake. It can be cooked as a fruit loaf and sliced, or as individual fruit buns Bara Brith is fruity and contains a mixture of currants, sultanas and raisins.
Bara Brith is also known as Speckled Bread.
There are many recipes for Bara Brith, but here's quite an easy one for you to try. Essentially there are two separate recipes, one is more of a bread (and uses yeast), the other is more of a fruit cake, which is the Bara Brith recipe I use.
As this recipe uses dried fruit, the fruit ideally needs to be steeped overnight.
I like it hot or cold .. and as it is or spread with butter, or even jam.
Welsh Recipes - Bara Brith - Ingredients
- 450grams self-raising flour (US: 4 cups)
- 450grams mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins and currants) (US: 3 cups)
- 60grams sugar (US: ¼ cup, UK: 4 tablespoons)
- 1 medium egg
- 240ml cold tea (US: 1 cup; UK ½ pint)
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice*
- Zest of 2 lemons**
* The mixed spice can be pre-mixed, or you can use any combination of your favourite spices from allspice, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
** You can leave this out, but the lemon does add a nice flavour if you have it.
Welsh Recipes - Bara Brith - Method
- Combine the dried fruit, sugar and tea
- Cover and leave for at least 12 hours for the fruit to swell, usually I leave it overnight.
- Strain off the fruit (keep the liquid in case the mix is a bit dry and you need a little liquid)
- Sift the flour into a bowl.
- Add the fruit, mixed spice and zest of the lemon and mix it all together
- Add a well beaten egg.
- At this stage, it should be of a "dropping" consistency. If it is too dry, then add in the liquid you saved from the steeped fruit.
- Line a loaf tin with well buttered greasproof paper and pour the mix in.
- Bake in the oven at 160°C/325°F for 1½-2 hours.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and turn the bara brith out onto a wire rack.
- Brush the sides and the top with honey while it is still hot.
- Leave to cool ... if you can wait!
What I often do is make one loaf and four large individual "buns", ideal for my lunchbox.
Bara brith is a Welsh recipe that makes a super teatime treat, or picnic food. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Wrap the Bara Brith in tin foil and keep it in an airtight container and it will keep for quite a number of days.
Museum of Welsh Life, Cardiff
- The Derwen Bakehouse, Museum of Welsh Life:: OS grid ST1177 :: Geograph British Isles - photograph e
Built of bricks in 1900, this was a communal bakehouse in Thespian Street, Aberystwyth till 1924. Today, Bara Brith is baked here for sale to tourists.
Iorwerth Peate and St Fagans Natural History and Folk Museum
Although known as The Museum of Welsh Life, the original title was St Fagans National History Museum. It was started by Iorwerth Peate (also known as Cyfeilliog) in 1946, on land donated by the Earl of Plymouth, and now contains over 40 buildings from around Wales. The 100-acre parkland opened on the 7th of July 1948, and since then it has established itself as one of Europe's main open air museums
During his lifetime (27 February 1901 - 19 October 1982) Iorwerth Peate wrote many books on folk life and history. He was also a Welsh poet.
St David's Day
This is a good, simple, recipe if you want to bake something for St David's Day, which is 1 March each year. St David is the patron saint of Wales.
You do have to start the night before though as you have to steep the fruit for at least 12 hours in the cold tea!
© 2009 Dedicated Content Curator
Iola on December 20, 2011:
Thank you - I visited the Museum in 1987 and have lost the recipe card I bought. I make Bara Brith for my Dad for Christmas, so it's great to find the exact same recipe! I've tried others, but this is my favourite.