Thursday, October 29, 2009

Barm Brack

Barm Brack is a traditional bread eaten all year round, but particularly at Halloween, when a gold ring is baked in it. Whoever gets the ring will be married within a year.

1 pound flour
2 1/2 cups warm milk
1 pound raisins
4 ounces currants
2 ounces mixed chopped candied peel
3 ounces sugar
3/4 ounce yeast
2 ounces butter
1/2 level teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 level teaspoon salt

Sieve the flour, spices, and salt together and rub in the butter. Cream the yeast with one teaspoon of the sugar and one teaspoon of milk. Add the rest of the sugar to the flour mixture and blend well. Pour the warm milk and the beaten egg onto the yeast mixture and combine with the flour. Beat well. Fold in the fruit, chopped peel, and the ring, then cover with a cloth and leave it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. Turn out and halve.

Place the mixture into two seven inch tins. Cover again and leave to rise for about thirty minutes. Bake in a moderate to hot oven, 400 degrees, for about one hour. Test with a skewer before removing from oven. Glaze the top with syrup made from one tablespoon of sugar dissolved in two tablespoons of boiling water and return to a hot oven for about three minutes. Cool on a wire rack.