Say Hello to Your New Favourite Fruit Bread Recipe: Welsh Bara Brith!

Bara Brith

This Welsh Bara Brith Bread is a dream come true! If you love fruit cakes and fruit bread then you will love this easy, one-bowl and spatula recipe. The result is a moist, perfectly fruity bread with light, aromatic spices that keeps well and actually improves over time! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader.

Bara Brith Bread is a traditional Welsh fruit bread whose name bara means bread and brith means speckled. It can be made with either yeast or self raising flour. I love making it with self raising flour as it is so easy but also delicious and has more of a fruit cake style than a fruit bread. Mr NQN absolutely loves this and I give him a slice of this for breakfast or afternoon tea. It is similar to Irish Barmbrack bread.

Tips For Making A Moist and Delicious Bara Brith

Bara Brith

1 - You can use any types of dried fruit for Bara Brith. We happened to have a big bag of sultanas so I just used sultanas. Some people love mixed peel so they add some of that while others add currants into the mix. Other people use other dried fruit like blueberries and cranberries - these are not traditional but would also work well. Just use a total weight of 400g/14ozs of dried fruit.

2 - The most important thing is to make sure to soak the dried fruit so that it is very plump and full. This takes time although if you are pressed for time you can simmer the fruit in the tea - just cool it completely before using.

3 - When the fruit is full and plumped up, it will release moisture back into the bread once baked so that is why Bara Brith gets better as time goes on!

4 - My loaf tin has a capacity of 450g or 1lb. and measures 19x10.6x11cms high or 7.75x4.25x4.5 inches high.

5 - You can add more flavour to this Bara Brith by using Earl Grey or Lady Grey tea or even (untraditionally) chai!

6 - Traditional Bara Brith only has a teaspoon of mixed spice but if you like a lot of warm spices (admittedly I do) then you can add another teaspoon of mixed spice or ground cinnamon.

Why You Should Make Bara Brith

Bara Brith

1 - This bread hardly needs any tips as it is one of the easiest cakes you will make. This is fantastic toasted for breakfast or served warm with a cup of tea for afternoon tea.

2 - I know that Christmas fruit cakes can be intimidating because they require so much time soaking the fruit and a specific process but if you just love fruit cake then this is a quick and just as delicious version!

3 - All you need is a couple of bowls and a spatula. There's no need to take out the heavy equipment or mixer.

4 - This Bara Brith lasts for a week easily (you'll probably finish eating this sooner) and it's rare that a cake or bread actually improves over time!

Bara Brith

Speaking of how long Bara Brith keeps I thought I'd share a storage tip. I keep it in an airtight container but what I do is actually put the bread on the lid of the container and use that as the base. Then just lower the main part of the container on top of it! And ta-da-it's so easy to store the bread this way! The loaf tin shape and size fits a large rectangular airtight container too!

Bara Brith

What I also like about this is that I can also fit some butter in there on top of the loaf so that it is the perfect spreadable consistency which is handy for cooler months!

So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried Bara Brith? Do you store your cakes or breads this way?

Bara Brith

Bara Brith Bread

Did you make this recipe? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Rated 5 out of 5 by 28 lovely readers. Share your rating:

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 15 minutes plus overnight soaking time

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

  • 400g/14ozs mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, mixed peel)
  • 1.5 cups/375ml hot black tea
  • 150g/5ozs brown sugar
  • Finely grated zest from 1 lemon or orange
  • 250g/8.8ozs plain all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb
  • 70g/2.5ozs butter, melted
  • 1 egg

Step 1 - First place the dried fruit in a large bowl and pour the hot tea over the fruit submerging it all. Cover and allow to steep for 3 hours or preferably overnight (for maximum moistness steep it overnight).

Bara Brith
Fruit after it has absorbed all of the tea overnight

Step 2 - Preheat oven to 160C/320F fan forced. Spray a 450g/1lb loaf tin with oil on the base and sides and then line with parchment.

Bara Brith

Step 3 - Most of the tea should have absorbed into the dried fruit but there should be some still left. Add the brown sugar and lemon zest to the whole bowl with the fruit and stir to mix.

Bara Brith

Step 4 - In another jug or bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, mixed spice and bicarb so that the baking powder and bicarb is well distributed. In another bowl whisk the egg and melted butter together. Add the egg butter mixture to the fruit bowl and stir to combine with a spatula. Add the flour mixture in 2-3 lots and stir to combine but do not overmix. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes. If the bread is browning too quickly, cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Serve warm with soft butter.

Bara Brith

Published on by .

Reader Comments

Loading comments...

Add Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked*