Bara Brith (Mottled Bread)

I think every Welsh kid makes Bara Brith at some point.  Either with your mamgu yn y gegin, peering over the counter-top on tip toes (…maybe).  Or like me, you got to make a lumpy burnt mess in the school kitchen, but never bothered eating it because ew, dried fruit, and I’d much rather have that packet of nerds thank you very much.

Bara Brith is Wales itself in bread form; traditional, homely and full of tea.  🙂

 

Bara Brith

(This recipe works best with a small loaf tin, for a larger loaf tin simply double-up the ingredients.)

  • 150g mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas)
  • 250ml hot water
  • one teabag (I used Glengettie – good Welsh tea, but any old brew will do)
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 85g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp marmalade
  • 1 tbsp honey (plus a little more for glazing)
  • 1 egg
  • 250g self-raising flour.
  1. Combine the hot water, teabag and mixed fruit in a bowl and leave to soak overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to bake, set the oven to 160° (fan) and grease the loaf tin.
  3. Add the sugar, honey and marmalade into the bowl with the tea and mixed fruit (don’t forget to take out the teabag!).
  4. Add the egg and then sift in the flour and mixed spice.  Stir until all the ingredients are combined.
  5. Bake for an hour; the cake should have risen, cracked and turned golden brown.
  6. Once cooked, remove from the oven and glaze with honey.
  7. Serve warm with butter. 🙂

 

 

Welsh Cakes

Okay, they’re not exactly the most attractive thing to sit on a plate – they’re not exactly as eye popping as Ladurée macarons but Welsh Cakes are perfect in their own way, okay?  Besides, fancy or not it all gets mashed up in your stomach anyway!  They’re also really easy and inexpensive to make.   You can’t mess up Welsh Cakes – even if you don’t have a fancy griddle, a flat frying pan will do just as good a job! 🙂


Welsh Cakes

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g caster sugar (+20g for dusting)
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g sultanas
  • 110g butter/margarine (+ a little extra to grease the pan/skillet)
  • 1 large egg
  • a splash of milk if the dough is too dry

1. Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl, then rub in the butter/margarine (get in there with your fingers and rub until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs).
2. Stir in the sultanas.
3. Mix in the egg until the dough comes together (if it’s too dry, add a splash of milk).
4. Roll out and cut into rounds.
5. If you haven’t got a skillet, a greased, level frying pan will do; cook the cakes for 3 minutes on each side (low heat), or until golden brown.
6. While still warm, sprinkle with a little caster sugar and then scoff!

Even the burned ones didn’t stay on the plate for long!