Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Eggless Irish Bambrack/Speckled Bread - Irish Halloween Fruit Bread

Barmbrack/Speckled Bread/Irish Halloween fruit bread is often served toasted with butter along with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The dough of this bread is sweeter than sandwich bread, but not as rich as cake, and the sultanas and raisins add flavour and texture to the final product. In Ireland it is sometimes called Bairín Breac, from the Irish word bairín - a loaf - and breac - speckled due to the raisins in it, hence it means a speckled loaf.

When i check wikipedia to know more about this bread, i was totally amazed to read the tradition of this halloween bread. Here is wat Wikipedia says about this Halloween Brack , this bread traditionally have various objects baked into the bread and was used as a sort of fortune-telling game. In the barmbrack , there might have a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin and a ring. Each item, when received in the slice, was supposed to carry a meaning to the person concerne. If its a pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be wed within the year. Other articles added to the brack include a medallion, usually of the Virgin Mary to symbolise going into the priesthood or to the Nuns, although this tradition is not widely continued in the present day. Thank god, else imagine the disaster after having this bread.

Irish Barmbrack, Irish Halloween Fruit Bread

October means Halloween, hence this month's bread for We Knead to Bake, a monthly event by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen is this Irish Bambrack aka Halloween fruit bread. The bread goes for black tea and dry fruits which sounds quite interesting. I never baked a bread with strong black tea,obviously i was very much curious to give a try to this interesting fruit bread though none at home was very much interested when i talked about this bread. Trust me, once i baked this bread and served everyone at home with butter, this bread vanished very much quickly than i have imagined. This bread came out extremely soft, eventhough i have added less dry fruits and skipped egg, each and every slice of this bread tasted awesome. Totally we loved this bread very much,definitely quite a different bread from all those fruit based bread i have already baked at home.

Irish Bambrack/Speckled Bread

1/4cup Raisins
1/4cup Sultanas
1/8cup Dried apricots (chopped)
1/8cup Cranberries
1+1/2cup Hot black tea (strong)

Add the dry fruits in hot black tea and let it sit for 4 hours or overnite. Before kneading the dough, drain the fruits, keep the soaked tea for kneading the dough.

4cups All purpose flour
2tsp Instant Yeast
2/3cup Sugar
1/2tsp Cinnamon powder
1/4tsp All spice powder
1/2tsp Ginger powder
30grms Unsalted butter
1/4cup Yogurt
1/4tsp Salt
1/2cup Lukewarm milk
1tbsp Sugar+1tsp boiling water (for glaze)(optional)

Take the flour, yeast, sugar, spices, salt in a bowl, add in the yogurt, butter and mix it well.

Measure the soaked tea and milk to make a cup of luke warm tea-milk to make the yeast proof.

Add this mixture to the ingredients in the bowl and knead as a elastic dough, turn the dough to a lightly floured surface and flatten it.

Now add in the drained fruit and fold again and knead the dough so the fruit gets dispersed evenly in the dough.

Arrange the dough in an oiled bowl, keep aside for 2hours until the dough gets doubled in volume.

Irish Speckled Bread, Halloween Barmbrack

Remove the doubled dough and knead again, divide it as 2 portion, though i prepared mine as a single loaf.

Shape it as a loaf and place it on a greased loaf mould,let it sit again for an hour, meanwhile preheat the oven to 350F and bake the bread for 35-45minutes until the crust turns golden brown.

Before removing the bread from the oven, brush the top of the bread with sugar glaze and bake for 4minutes to get a shiny finish (i skipped it).

Let the bread cools completely, cut as thick slices and serve with butter.

1 comment:

Rafeeda AR said... Reply To This Comment

Haha... yes imagine if the traditions continued!! Hehe... the bread looks so soft! You got a darker shade... the bread at home also disappeared...