A rich and delicious traditional Irish Barmbrack with yeast recipe. I found it hidden away in the middle of Countess Morphy’s 1946 Kitchen Encyclopedia, and at first glance I wondered was it really possible it could work. Equal quantities of butter to flour, in a yeast bread?
I reduced the recipe quantity to a third of the original, making a neat 6.5 inch / 16 cm round brack that should serve 6 for supper. Use a good heavy non-stick cake tin and be sure to grease it well. I used plain flour as no particular type was specified in the original recipe, but strong bread flour may give the brack more of a rise.
After the brack has risen nicely and you’re sure it won’t fall (20 -25 minutes), open the oven door and cover the top with a circle of greased greaseproof paper. This stops the brack turning black on top as it cooks on through to the centre. At this stage you can reduce your oven temperature down a little too, so that the base of the barmbrack doesn’t bake out too fast.
I do think a lot of the character of this Barmbrack comes from the caraway seeds, but if you really don’t fancy them, you could leave them out and add some glace cherries along with the sultanas or currants if you like.
This traditional Irish Barmbrack recipe originates from a time when people weren’t afraid to use butter. It conjures up images of hot cups of sweet tea, the scent of a warm turf fire, the lilt of and stories and song, and sharing around thick slices of Barmbrack that had been baked earlier that day.