Irish Halloween bread

By Clodagh McKenna
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Irish Halloween bread


  • 142 grams raisins
  • 142 grams currants
  • 85 grams chopped dried fruit peel
  • 1./2 cup of Irish breakfast tea
  • 425 grams all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons dried yeast
  • 114 grams butter
  • 85 grams superfine sugar
  • 1 cup full fat milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/Gas 6.
  2. Place all the fruit in a large bowl and pour over the tea. Allow the tea to soak into the fruits for two hours.
  3. Sieve the flour and spices into a large mixing bowl, and using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour.
  4. Warm the milk in a saucepan. Place the yeast and sugar in a measuring jug (or small bowl) and slowly whisk in the warmed milk, followed by one of the beaten eggs.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the yeast liquid into the well, gradually mixing in the flour from the sides using a wooden spoon. Stir in all the fruit and tea and mix well.
  6. Sprinkle flour on a board and transfer the dough onto the board and knead gently adding more flour if needed (the dough should be smooth but not sticky).
  7. Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour).
  8. Once the barm brack has risen, tip out onto a floured board again and knead it back again and then shape into a greased 25 centimeter cake tin. Cover and leave it again in a warm place until it has risen (about an hour).
  9. Once risen brush with the remaining beaten egg and place in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes. 
  10. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

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