Barm Brack – Irish Halloween Bread – A traditional Irish recipe served around Halloween. Barm Brack is a little sweeter than sandwich bread, but not as rich as cake. The Irish bake items into the bread as a game of fortune-telling. Sometimes there is a ring indicating an impending marriage or a coin foretelling good luck or riches.
I am a bit of a sucker for all things Irish. Perhaps it’s because of my Scottish/Irish lineage or maybe I just love their recipes and style. If you look back over the last three years of recipes on SRFD (today is my three year anniversary!) you’ll see several traditional Irish recipes such this Barm Brack- an Irish Halloween Bread, Irish Soda Bread and another sweeter version of Sweet Irish Soda Bread. I often incorporate Bailey’s Irish Cream in desserts, whenever possible, whether or not it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Check out Bailey’s Irish Cream Mousse Pie, Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Truffles, and Bourbon Balls with Jameson. Go green!
Barm Brack is one of those Irish recipes I just couldn’t pass up. Traditionally served around Halloween, Barm Brack is a little sweeter than sandwich bread, but not as rich as cake. The Irish bake items into the bread as a game of fortune-telling. Sometimes there is a ring indicating an impending marriage or a coin foretelling good luck or riches. I didn’t bake a ring or coin in my bread but I did manage to find a way to add Irish whiskey 🙂
This is a simple yeast bread chucked full of golden raisins, currents and raisins. Some recipes include black tea, thus the idea it is a tea bread. I skipped the tea but soaked the fruit in Irish Whiskey to add a little zing.
Baked in a 9″ springform pan we were very happy with the texture, flavor and incredible aroma lofting from the kitchen while baking.
We couldn’t even wait for it to cool before cutting off a few delicious slices.
The Irish serve afternoon tea with Barm Brack and sweet creamy butter. Darn Irish – see why I love them so?!?
Don’t forget your PIN!
Barm Brack - Irish Halloween Bread
Barm Brack is a traditional Irish recipe served around Halloween. Barm Brack is a little sweeter than sandwich bread, but not as rich as cake. The Irish bake items into the bread as a game of fortune-telling. Sometimes there is a ring indicating an impending marriage or a coin foretelling good luck or riches.
Recipe type: Bread
- 4-3/4 cups unbleached bread flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1¼ cup milk (heated to 95-100 degrees on an instant read thermometer)
- ⅓ cup water, plus extra as needed
- ⅓ cup Irish Whiskey, such as Bushmills or Jameson
- vegetable oil for the bowl and pan
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1¾ cups mixed golden raisins, raisins, and dried currants
- 1 -2 tablespoons milk for garnish
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar for garnish
- Place the raisins, currants and golden raisins in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add the whiskey and ⅓ cup water. Soak the fruit for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- When ready to start the bread, drain the raisins reserving the liquid. Add enough water to the soaking liquid to measure ⅔ cup. Set aside the fruit and liquid.
- Sift the flour, allspice and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Stir in the yeast and granulated sugar. Turn the stand mixer on the lowest setting and add the warmed milk, water and whiskey mixture. Mix until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl, becoming slightly sticky but soft.
- Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until it has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly for one minute. Add the butter and soaked fruit and work them in until completely incorporated. Return the dough to the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the bread to rise again - for about 30 minutes.
- Oil or grease a 9" spring-form or cake pan. Form the dough into a neat circle and press into the prepared pan. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm place until it has risen again, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the top of the loaf with milk and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes then cover with foil. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a rack and cool.
- Serve sliced spread with butter.
(Inspired by a recipe in The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook)
This is such a fun time of year to bake and I feel the need to put apples into something soon! I adore the seasons and believe autumn is my absolute favorite.
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you how much I appreciate you, my readers. Three years of blogging, it’s almost hard to believe. I won’t win any contests for the most posts ever, or the most pinned, liked or downloaded, but I am thrilled with the recipes I’ve posted, the feedback I’ve gotten from you and the friends I can’t wait to meet some day. Thanks so much for all your support and please stop by again soon!