Bara Brith is a classic and very traditional Welsh fruit bread. The name Bara Brith literally translates as "speckled bread" as it is liberally speckled with raisins, currants, sultanas and mixed peel, it is made with brown sugar and flavoured with a mixture of spices such as cinnamon.Bara brith is sold in bakeries and tea shops all over Wales and is available in two varieties, one is risen with yeast which gives a more bread like texture, the other is risen with baking powder which results in a cakier texture. The yeasted version is the more traditional of the two but they are both equally good, if you ever find yourself in Wales make sure you stop by a tea room and order a slice.
Bara Brith is one of those strange foods that's right on the line between bread and cake. On the one hand it is sweet and full of fruit like cake, on the other hand it contains no added fat and can be toasted like a bread. Whatever you call it it is undeniably delicious and just perfect with a good cup of tea.The recipe I used comes from North Wales Tourism, I figured if ever there was an authentic recipe this would be it.
The first part of this recipe is also the most important, the mixture of dried fruit must be soaked in strong tea until it has become swollen, plump and juicy. It is vital that the fruit is soaked so that the finished bread is tender and moist not dry and crumbly. Once you have soaked your fruit the recipe is a doddle to make, just mix the ingredients together and bake in a greased pan, the mixture takes a long time to bake so you may need to cover it with foil halfway through to prevent the top from burning. Once cooked give the top a liberal brushing with honey and leave to cool. Serve spread with butter, Welsh of course!
The recipe can be found here.