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home > recipes > breads > barm brack
Barm Brack I have TWO derivations of this name and have NO idea which is correct: 1. In Northern Ireland and in the Republic, brack is the Celtic word for salt and is used to mean "bread". Barm brack is leavened bread, the word, barm meaning yeast. 2. The term barmbrack for an Irish fruit loaf or cake does not derive from barm or leaven. It is a corruption of the Irish word aran breac (Speckled Bread). If anyone can straighten out which definition is correct, please let me know. I also read that the Irish traditional serve barmbrak at Halloween with the ring, silver coin and a button baked inside (the button signifying "single blessedness" whatever that might be). Frankly, I doubt all of these "bake it inside" stories...if they were true, Irish dentists would ALWAYS be busy on the day after Halloween, because alot of Irish folk would have broken teeth after having coins and rings stuck in every item on the table! Barmbrak 2 1/2 cups mixed dry fruit (currants, dark and golden raisins) 1 cup boiling black tea 1 egg 1 tsp. mixed spice (equal amounts of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allpice, and mace) 4 tsp. marmalade 1 heaping cup superfine granulated sugar 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour Place the dried fruit in a bowl, cover with the hot tea and let soak overnight. The next day, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Pour the batter into a greased 7" square pan and bake in the center of the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Slice and serve buttered with tea.

Barm Brack


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(posted May 5, 2005)

Barm Brack

I have TWO derivations of this name and have NO idea which is correct:

1. In Northern Ireland and in the Republic, brack is the Celtic word for
salt and is used to mean "bread". Barm brack is leavened bread, the word, barm meaning yeast.
2. The term barmbrack for an Irish fruit loaf or
cake does not derive from barm or leaven. It is a corruption of the Irish word aran breac (Speckled Bread).
If anyone can straighten out which definition is correct, please let me know. I also read that the Irish traditional serve barmbrak at Halloween with the ring, silver coin and a button
baked inside (the button signifying "single blessedness" whatever that might be). Frankly, I doubt all of these "bake it inside" stories...if they were true, Irish dentists would ALWAYS be busy on the day after Halloween, because alot of Irish folk would have broken teeth after having coins and rings stuck in every item on the table!

Barmbrak

2 1/2 cups mixed
dry fruit (currants, dark and golden raisins)
1 cup boiling
black
tea
1
egg
1 tsp. mixed spice (equal amounts of
cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allpice, and mace)
4 tsp.
marmalade
1 heaping cup superfine
granulated
sugar
2 1/2 cups
self-rising
flour

Place the
dried fruit in a bowl, cover with the hot tea and let soak overnight. The next day, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Pour the batter into a greased 7" square pan and bake in the center of the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Slice and serve buttered with tea.


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+2 comments


from County Clare, Ireland wrote:0  0

Hello MOUSEPAD,

You are almost correct with your take on the oddities put into a Barm Brack. In different parts of Ireland you had differing items included and each with its own folklore, likewise there are differing recipes depending on which part of Ireland you are in.

I've made my Brack as per your recipe (its in the oven now) and I'm looking forward to trying it.

Compliments na Séasúr ó Chontae an Chláir Éireann

Read more at: http://www.internationalrecipes.net/find/Barm_Brack
4 starsDecember 9, 2015


from cork, Ireland wrote:11  2

yes, the barm brack is speckled bread (because of the dried fruit used). The items are baked within the bread, and because the irish people expect to dind something in their slice, they are constantly looking for the hidden 'goodie'. The ring symbolised you would be married within a year, the coin indicated good fortune for the comming year, the rag symbolised poor luck for the year and as you indicated, the button indicated you were blessed for the year. Superstitions perhaps, but the legend is still alive and active today (2005) after many decades and centuries. The way that the barm brack has been traditonally made in Ireland has never changed, nor have the charms which are inserted.
4 starsOctober 19, 2005


 
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