Bara brith means ‘speckled bread’. This recipe evolved as a way to use up leftover dough and incorporate ingredients in the storecupboard. It is traditionally served as a snack or sweet treat in a lunchbox, but is equally good spread with butter and served with tea.
Recipe taken from Around Britain cookbook.
Strong plain flour 450g (1lb)
Salt 1 tsp
Mixed spice 1½ tsp
Caster sugar 4 tbsp
Currants 225g (8oz)
Mixed candied peel 50g (2oz)
Fast-acting dried yeast 1½ tsp
Skimmed milk 225ml (8fl oz), luke warm
Unsalted butter 50g (2oz), melted
Eggs 1 large, beaten, and 1 small, beaten, to glaze
Sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar, currants, peel and yeast. Make a well in the centre and gradually blend in the milk, butter and egg to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a floured bowl, cover loosely and stand in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and re-knead until smooth. Form the dough into a sausage shape and place in a lightly greased 900g (2lb) loaf tin. Stand in a warm place for a further 30 minutes or so until well risen.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Brush the bread with beaten egg and bake for about 40 minutes until richly golden, crusty and risen (cover with foil if it starts browning too quickly) – the bread should sound hollow when tapped. Turn on to a wire rack to cool. It is best served sliced, spread with butter.