Irish Barmbrack Recipe by Shane Smith
“Barmbrack” is a traditional Irish fruitcake which is generally enjoyed around Halloween.
This is a simple yeast based recipe, the key is to be patient when the dough is proving and not to rush the process! To add another layer of flavour, why not soak the dried fruit in some Earl Grey tea.
Irish Barmbrack Recipe
Yield 1x 10” round loaf
– 250ml milk
– 75g butter
– 7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
– 75g castor sugar
– 450g plain flour
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp mixed spice
– 1 beaten egg
– 150g raisins
– 100g currants
– 100g mixed peel
– A little melted butter for greasing
1. Warm the milk, add the butter and allow to met in the warm liquid.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the yeast with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and add half the warmed milk & butter mixture.
3. Sift the cinnamon and mixed spice with the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour the yeast mixture into it. Sprinkle a little flour over the liquid and leave it in a warm place for 20 minutes until the yeast froths up.
4. Add in the remainder of the liquid and the egg and mix together until a dough is formed.
Turn it out onto a floured board, sprinkle on the remaining sugar, raisins, currants and mixed peel and knead them into the dough.
5. Put the dough into a large greased bowl, cover with cling-film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
Knead it back again and then shape into your greased bread tin. Brush the top with melted butter and allow to prove for a further 35-40 minutes or until doubled in size again.
6. Bake in a preheated oven set at 180ºC for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
7. To give it a nice glaze, brush with melted golden syrup when the loaf comes out of the oven.
8. Leave to cool before cutting.
Shane Smith hails from Co Cavan and has been cooking his way around Ireland and further afield for the past 16 years, starting his training in Co. Donegal in Tourism College Killybegs and then extending his studies to Galway Mayo Institute of Technology graduating with a degree in Culinary Arts, specialising in Pastry.
Shane has been very fortunate to have worked in and ran the pastry sections in some of Ireland’s leading 5* hotels and restaurants. Shane can be spotted all over the country carrying out his fun, interactive demonstrations with some of Ireland’s leading chefs. In September 2015, Shane was honoured to be awarded the title of “Best Bakery Manager in Ireland” in conjunction with Shelflife magazine and most recently has landed a cookery slot on Sunday AM where he can been seen regularly bringing his natural flare and love for all things sweet from the TV3 studios into the nation’s homes. chefshanesmith.ie