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Jane's Bara Brith

One of my favourite recipes in the book because it's so quintessentially Welsh (and Ceredigion is a Welsh-speaking area) is Jane Edward's way with bara brith...though I must admit that her Welshcakes run it a  close second.   Bara means bread and brith means speckled. The speckles are raisins and how many you include depends on the household. Some people include ground ginger and others allspice.  My neighbour and tutor in all things Welsh, Jane Edwards, had this foolproof recipe from her mother, who had it from her mother, which is good enough for me.


Serves 6-8

500g mixed dried fruit and peel
300ml strong hot tea
125g dark brown muscovado sugar
250g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 egg, forked to blend

Soak the fruit and peel in a roomy bowl in the tea for at least 6 hours - overnight is fine.
Next day, sieve the flour and spices into the soaked fruit (no need to
drain), stir in the sugar, spice and egg. Beat all together till smooth.

Preheat the oven to 300F/150C/gas2.
Line a small loaf-tin with buttered paper and tip in the mixture. Bake in a gentle oven for about 1 1/2 hours, till well-risen, firm and brown. Cool and
store for at least 2 days, till rich and gluey - it needs a few days to
develop its characteristic elasticity.


Slice thinly and spread with salty Welsh butter.


Recipe from A Cook's Year

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