Barm­brack

Centre Daily Times (Sunday) - - Food -

Yield: 10 serv­ings

Recipe by Daniel Neman, adapted from sev­eral books.

1 1⁄2 cups any com­bi­na­tion of raisins, golden raisins and cur­rants, see note

1 cup cold tea, op­tional, see note

4 cups all-pur­pose flour

3⁄4 tea­spoon table salt

Pinch ground cloves

Pinch ground all­spice

Pinch ground gin­ger

1⁄8 tea­spoon (2 pinches) ground co­rian­der

1⁄8 tea­spoon (2 pinches) ground cin­na­mon

1⁄8 tea­spoon (2 pinches) ground nut­meg

1 cup plus 3 ta­ble­spoons milk, di­vided

1 tea­spoon ac­tive dry yeast

1⁄4 cup plus 2 ta­ble­spoons gran­u­lated sugar, di­vided

4 ta­ble­spoons but­ter

2 eggs, di­vided

2⁄3 cup can­died fruit (as for fruit­cake)

Note: Plain raisins will do, if you don’t have golden raisins and cur­rants. And it is not nec­es­sary to soak them in ad­vance, but they will be plumper if you do. Some peo­ple in Ire­land use tea for soak­ing, which adds a bit of tan­nin and taste to push against the raisin mix­ture’s sweet­ness, but, again, it is not nec­es­sary. Wa­ter will do.

If de­sired, soak the raisins in the cold tea or wa­ter overnight. Be­fore mak­ing the bread, drain and dry on pa­per tow­els.

Line a 9-inch cake pan or 2 loaf pans with parch­ment pa­per, and grease it and the pan’s sides with but­ter or non­stick spray. Sift to­gether the flour, salt, cloves, all­spice, gin­ger, co­rian­der, cin­na­mon and nut­meg into a bowl and leave in a warm place.

Heat the milk un­til warm, but not hot. Place 3 ta­ble­spoons in a cup with the yeast and 2 ta­ble­spoons of the sugar, and stir un­til com­bined. Leave in a warm place for about 20 min­utes un­til the sur­face is frothy. Mean­while, add the but­ter to the re­main­ing 1 cup milk, bring to a boil and al­low to cool un­til tepid.

Pour the yeast mix­ture into the flour and add the re­main­ing 1⁄ cup sugar. Beat 1 of the eggs and add it. Add the tepid milk4 but­ter mix­ture and the raisins, and mix to a loose dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work sur­face and knead well un­til the dough is smooth and elas­tic. If the raisins were not suf­fi­ciently dried, the dough may be sticky; if so, add a lit­tle flour at a time un­til it is smooth and elas­tic. Dust the bowl with flour and re­turn the dough to it. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and leave in a warm place un­til dou­bled in size, about 50 min­utes.

Pre­heat oven to 400 de­grees. Turn the dough out onto a floured sur­face again, and knead for 1 minute. Place in pre­pared pan or pans, cover with a damp cloth and al­low to rise 20 more min­utes in a warm place.

Beat the re­main­ing 1 egg, mix with 1 ta­ble­spoon wa­ter, and brush over top of loaf or loaves. Bake 40 to 50 min­utes, un­til done. If the top starts to be­come too brown, tent with a piece of alu­minum foil. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Nutri­tion | Per serv­ing: 353 calo­ries; 6 g fat; 3 g sat­u­rated fat; 50 mg choles­terol; 8 g pro­tein; 67 g car­bo­hy­drate; 23 g sugar; 2 g fiber; 212 mg sodium; 66 mg cal­cium

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