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Barm Brack

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You won't need to call upon psychic powers to know who will marry first in your circle of family or friends. Just serve this traditional Irish Barmbrack and you'll soon have your answer! This is a rich yet light brack best served fresh with an ample supply of butter. Traditionally made at Halloween, a foil (or paper) wrapped ring is baked into the mixture and the person who receives the slice with the ring is supposed to be the first to be married. Found in Mary Kinsella's An Irish Farmhouse Cookbook.

Barm Brack Ingredients

  • 1 lb of plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 oz fresh yeast (or 1 tsp. dried yeast)
  • 1 oz of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons tepid milk
  • 1/2 pint of milk
  • 2 oz butter or margarine
  • 2 oz of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 12 oz raisins
  • 4 oz of mixed peel

Preparing and baking your Barm Brack

Preparation time: 20 min. Resting time: 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Cooking time: 40-50 min. Oven temperature: gas 6, 200° C, 400° F. Oven position: centre.
  1. Grease a deep round tin 9 inches in diameter.
  2. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl and leave in a warm place.
  3. Put the yeast, 1 oz of sugar and 3 tablespoons of tepid milk into a cup and use a spoon to cream together. Leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes until the surface is frothy.
  4. Put the milk and butter into a saucepan; bring to a boil and allow to cool until tepid.
  5. Pour the creamed yeast into the flour with sugar and egg, holding back a little egg. Mix to a loose dough with the tepid milk and butter.
  6. Knead well on a floured board or work table.
  7. Shake a little flour into the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for 40 to 50 minutes until the dough has doubled its original size.
  8. Turn dough onto a foured work table and knead the fruit gradually into the dough.
  9. Put into prepared tin.
  10. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for a further 20 minutes in a warm place.
  11. Brush the top with egg yolk, put into the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
  12. When baked, turn onto a wire rack to cool.

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