Traditional Mary Berry Bara Brith Recipe: A Welsh Tea-Infused Delight

Today, I’m excited to share with you a special recipe for Bara Brith, inspired by Mary Berry. This recipe is a classic Welsh bread, filled with the sweetness of dried fruits and the rich flavor of tea. It’s a simple, yet delicious treat that’s perfect for anyone who loves homemade bread. With straightforward steps and common ingredients, this recipe is great for both beginners and experienced bakers. So, let’s start baking and bring a taste of Wales into our kitchens!

What does Bara Brith taste like?

Bara Brith, a traditional Welsh bread, offers a unique and delightful taste profile. It’s characterized by:

Fruity Sweetness: The most prominent flavor comes from the dried fruits, such as raisins, sultanas and currants, used in the recipe. These fruits add a natural, rich sweetness.

Rich, Tea Infusion: The dried fruits are typically soaked in strong black tea, which infuses the bread with a deep, slightly tannic flavor. This tea soaking not only imparts flavor but also contributes to the moisture of the bread.

Mild Spice Notes: Some recipes incorporate spices like cinnamon or mixed spice, adding a warm, subtle spiciness to the bread.

Caramel Undertones: The use of muscovado sugar, or other brown sugars, lends a slight caramel or molasses-like flavor, enhancing the overall richness of the bread.

Dense and Moist Texture: Bara Brith has a dense, moist texture that is more akin to a fruitcake than typical bread. This texture complements the sweet and rich flavors.

Overall, Bara Brith tastes like a moist, fruit-laden bread with a unique combination of sweetness from the dried fruits and the full-bodied flavor from the tea, all rounded out with hints of spice and caramel. It’s often enjoyed sliced and buttered, which adds a creamy, savory note to its rich profile.

How To Make Mary Berry Bara Brith Recipe Overview :

The recipe is simple, yet the outcome is wonderfully complex in taste. It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake and yields around 10-12 servings. It’s ideal for those who appreciate a less sugary cake, as it relies on the natural sweetness of fruits and the subtle richness of muscovado sugar.

Ingredients

  • 450 gm mixed dried fruit (such as raisins, sultanas, and currants)
  • Butter for greasing the baking dish
  • 360 ml strong black tea
  • 300 gm light muscovado sugar
  • 360 gm self-rising flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Instructions

  1. Fruit Soaking: In a large bowl, combine the mixed dried fruits and muscovado sugar. Pour in the strong tea, ensuring all the fruit is covered. Cover the bowl and let it soak overnight. This allows the fruits to plump up and absorb the tea, infusing them with flavor.
  2. Preparation: Preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F). Grease a loaf tin with butter.
  3. Batter Making: Sift the self-rising flour into the fruit mixture. Add the beaten egg into the mixture. Now mix well to combine all the ingredients well. The batter should be thick and fruity.
  4. Baking: Pour the batter into the prepared tin and level the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cooling: Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Value (per serving)

Calories: Approximately 280 kcal

Carbohydrates: 58g

Protein: 4g

Fat: 3g

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 35g (mostly from fruits)

Also Try: Mary Berry Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

FAQs

What kind of tea is best for soaking the fruits in Bara Brith?

Choice of Tea: The type of tea used in Bara Brith can greatly influence its flavor. Traditionally, a strong black tea, such as English Breakfast or Assam, is recommended as it imparts a robust, deep flavor to the fruits. Earl Grey can also be used for a more aromatic twist with its bergamot notes. The key is to use a tea that is strong enough to hold up against the rich flavors of the dried fruits and muscovado sugar.

How can I ensure my Bara Brith doesn’t turn out too dry?

Moisture Tips: A common concern with fruit breads like Bara Brith is dryness. To avoid this, ensure your fruits are thoroughly soaked – overnight soaking is ideal. Additionally do not overbake the bread. Check it at the earliest baking time mentioned and every few minutes after. The bread is done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Over Mixing the batter can also lead to dryness, so mix just until the ingredients are combined.

Can I use fresh fruits instead of dried fruits in the recipe?

Fruit Substitutions: Bara Brith traditionally uses dried fruits because they absorb the tea and provide a concentrated flavor and chewy texture. Using fresh fruits isn’t advisable as they can make the bread too moist and alter the cooking time and texture. If you’re looking to vary the types of fruit, stick to dried varieties like apricots, dates, or even dried cherries for a twist.

How do I store Bara Brith, and how long does it last?

Storage Tips: Proper storage is key to maintaining the freshness of Bara Brith. Once completely cooled, wrap the bread in cling film or place it in an airtight container. You can store this cake at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, you can freeze it, wrapped tightly, for up to three months. To enjoy, defrost at room temperature and, if you like, warm it slightly before serving.

Can I make Bara Brith vegan?

Vegan Adaptation: To make Bara Brith vegan, replace the egg with a flax egg (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, left to sit for 15 minutes). Ensure that the sugar you’re using is vegan (some sugars are processed with bone char). Additionally, use a vegan butter for greasing the tin. Be mindful that the texture might vary slightly from the traditional recipe due to these substitutions.

Conclusion

This Mary Berry-inspired Bara Brith is a delightful, easy-to-make recipe that’s perfect for those who love fruit-laden, less sugary cakes. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy a traditional Welsh treat with a cup of tea. Happy baking!

Mary Berry Bara Brith Recipe

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 12
Calories 280 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 450 gm Mixed dried fruit (such as raisins, sultanas, and currants)
  • Butter for greasing the baking dish
  • 360 ml Strong black tea
  • 300 gm Light muscovado sugar
  • 300 gm Self-rising flour
  • 1 Large egg, beaten

Instructions
 

  • Fruit Soaking: In a large bowl, combine the mixed dried fruits and muscovado sugar. Pour in the strong tea, ensuring all the fruit is covered. Cover the bowl and let it soak overnight. This allows the fruits to plump up and absorb the tea, infusing them with flavor.
  • Preparation: Preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F). Grease a loaf tin with butter.
  • Batter Making: Sift the self-rising flour into the fruit mixture. Add the beaten egg into the mixture. Now mix well to combine all the ingredients well. The batter should be thick and fruity.
  • Baking: Pour the batter into the prepared tin and level the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cooling: Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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