Celebrate Halloween like the Irish do and make some Barmbrack to share with family and friends. This sweet and fruity bread is more than just a tasty treat; legend says that your slice can determine your future since traditional Barmbrack is often baked with symbols hidden throughout. Some of the most common symbols include:
- A rag means a doubtful future
- A coin means prosperity is to come
- A ring symbolizes romance or happiness
- A thimble means you will never marry
Whether or not you want to incorporate hidden symbols in your creation, Barmbrack is still a delicious Halloween snack! Thank you to CIE’s friends at Tourism Ireland for this fantastic recipe.
FOR THE FRUIT MIX:
- 1½ cups sultanas
- ¼ cup Bushmills whiskey
- Warm tea (enough to cover the sultanas)
- 1 lemon, juice and zested skin
FOR THE DOUGH:
- 2 cups strong bread flour
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon dried yeast
- 1 ¼ cups milk, at room temperature
- 3½ tablespoon butter, softened
- 3½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
FOR THE TOPPING:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
HOW TO MAKE:
1. Soak the sultanas in the whiskey, warm tea and lemon juice for 30-45 minutes, then drain off the liquid.
2. To make the dough: put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon.
3. Knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes.
4. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave for about 1 hour, until the mixture has risen and fills the bowl.
5. Knead dough again on a floured surface, adding soaked fruit until evenly spread throughout.
6. Place in a buttered loaf pan and cover with a damp tea towel.
7. Leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes until the mixture rises up to the top of the tin.
8. Bake for 50 minutes in oven preheated to 400 degrees.
9. For the topping: cream the butter and spices together until soft.
10. Remove the barmbrack from the oven. Immediately spread spiced butter on top. Leave to cool.