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Cothivale Books – Popular eBooks Foods Recipes – Bara Brith Cymraeg

What is Bara Brith Cymraeg? (Pronounced barra breeth come-rah-g)

Although Bara Brith is quite often referred to as a cake, it is traditionally a bread.

Bara means bread, brith means speckled and Cymraeg means Welsh. So, “Bara Brith Cymraeg” means “Welsh Speckled Bread”. You now already know enough Welsh to go into any bakery in Wales and order this national classical masterpiece…….Providing the baker speaks Welsh of course!!

The name Bara Brith was originally used in North Wales only. In the south, the name Teisen Dorth was used (teisen means cake, and dorth/torth is loaf). Bara Brith is eaten throughout Wales and is readily available from tearooms, cake-shops and food markets. I lived in Wales for quite a lot of years, so I have sampled quite a few while I lived there.

This recipe was given to me by a lovely welsh lady who is no longer with us. She told me that it had been handed down from generation to generation and it is in her memory that I have chose to pass it to others. I am sure she would have been delighted to see this article in print.

Before the advent of baking powder and other chemical raising agents most ‘cakes’ were in fact fruited breads. In this instance the bread is ‘speckled’ with dried fruits.

BARA BRITH is a well loved tasty Welsh recipe for a scrumptious bread with a difference. Not only is it a fantastic tasty accompaniment to afternoon teas, it is a fantastic addition to your Christmas fayre, and makes a tasty gift too!!

Here we go:

Ingredients you will need:

450g (16oz) mixed dried fruit

400g (14oz) strong plain flour

15 ml (3 teaspoons) dried yeast

5ml (1 teaspoon) mixed spice (see end for an explanation of variants)

150ml (quarter of a pint) of full cream fresh milk (lukewarm)

75g (3oz) unsalted butter

75g (3oz) soft brown or Demerara sugar

1 egg beaten

1 (teaspoon) salt

1 (teaspoon) sugar

Clear runny honey

Into the warm milk place the sugar and stir gently until dissolved, then sprinkle on the dried yeast and leave in a warm place until “frothy” (approx 10 – 12 minutes).

Sieve the flour, spice and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter, stir in the dried fruit and brown sugar. Place the beaten egg, yeast liquid in and mix all together thoroughly until it is an obvious dough and not sticking to the sides of the dish. On a floured surface, with floured hands knead the dough until smooth and pliable (approx 10 minutes.)

I find a large polythene bag with a teaspoon of vegetable (cooking oil) inside, then squidged around to coat gives a perfect vessel to place the dough into. Close the open end and leave in a warm place until it is twice the original quantity. When you’re pleased it’s doubled in size, don’t wait – it won’t get any larger. (Oh, sugar!! My mind’s wandering!!)
Yeast is a living organism, once activated it will only do its job for so long.

Whilst the dough is rising mix some soft butter and oil together and smear all over the inside of a 900g (2lb.) loaf tin. Take the dough and knead it again for 2-3 minutes, thus giving the yeast a ‘final nudge’. Shape the dough to fit the tin and place onto a clean tea towel, pull over to cover and leave to rise again to above the top of the tin. You can tell this by the level of the towel. When you see this, set the oven to 180°c (350°f) gas 4 for approx. 2 minutes. Then uncover the loaf tin and place into the oven for approx. 1hr 15mins. Turn out your Bara Brith onto a wire cooling rack. After approx 15 minutes whilst still warm, glaze all over with the runny honey. Tasty and even better served with welsh cakes, this is another original recipe passed to me by the ancient lady in Wales who certainly had her own way of doing things. She told me to use fresh ground cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and ginger for this Bara Brith recipe. The shop bought mixed spice contains all of that plus cloves, pimento and cassia (a Chinese cinnamon). I noticed a favourable difference, so don’t bother with the pestle and mortar!!

I find this recipe provides enjoyment three times over:

1. The sheer pleasure of preparing and cooking it

2. The delightful unique aroma while it’s in the oven

3. Finally, eating it!!

I really hope you delight in the outcome of this recipe and that also your family and friends are suitably impressed.

Tucked away somewhere I have a special recipe for traditional Welsh cakes but that recipe is for another day! Iechyd da! (Cheers in Welsh!)

This is a follow up to an article published recently in Ezine Articles, Cothivale Books – Well loved Ebooks Foods Recipes “Salmon Cymry Supreme”
ezinearticles.com/?Cothivale-Books—Well loved-Ebooks-Foods-Recipes—Salmon-Cymru-Supreme&id=635387 ezinearticles.com/?Cothivale-Books—Well loved-Ebooks-Foods-Recipes—Salmon-Cymru-Supreme&id=635387

The author Christopher Phillips traveled the world in his younger days gaining considerable experience over several years running busy well loved restaurants.

He has always had a keen interest in collecting well loved foods recipes worldwide. Today a lot of this material is of course usually available for instant download globally. You are free and welcome to copy and distribute this article without alteration and with the usual acknowledgment to the author.

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