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Food. Bara Brith Tea Time Treat from Wales

Updated on May 4, 2011

Teisen Dorth or Bara Brith, Cosy Times at Tea Time

Any one who has spent any time in Wales knows that the weather is doubtful at best. The misty mountains and sea fog can add a sense of gloom by tea time. This is traditionally around four o'clock. In modern times, Tea has been pushed back til nearer five or six when the breadwinners return and the children are back from school. this cosy meal in the early evening has become more substantial and is often substituted for the more formal "Dinner" when lunch becomes the main meal of the day.

Forget the weather and the cares of the Day and draw up a chair for Tea. The table will be groaning with fresh bread , local cheese, Plate tarts with lemon curd or jam, several different cakes and often the fragrant Bara Brith. Bara Brith is a fruity bread made with yeast and dried fruits, spices and candied peel. Its secret ingredient is Tea. This delicacy is known as Teisen Dorth in South Wales. The fruits and peel are set to soak in tea for at least overnight so that they are plump and delicious when baked. Bara Brith, speckled bread, is related to The Irish Tea bread called Brack and is made in a similar fashion.

Here is a recipe for Bara Brith. It is not set in stone as all the ingredients may not have been available, so dried fruit can be a mixture of raisins, sultanas and a few currants. Candied citrus peel is a nice addition if you have some. Home made works better than the kind you buy at Christmas. As children, we diligently saved our orange peels to make this treat. Any kind of tea will be fine and obviously the stronger the more flavor the Bara Brith will have.I have never tried it with Earl Grey Tea but I think that could be a great variation. Here is a recipe.

Ingredients

Pint of tea (strength to taste)

12 oz Dried fruit and candied peel mixture

Ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg.......pinch of Salt

4 tsps dried Yeast........2 oz Brown Sugar.......1 lb White baking flour

1 Egg........3 oz lard (Butter or Margarine may be substituted)......Baking tray or Bread tin.

Method

Place dried fruit mixture in a bowl, pick it over carefully for pips and stems.

Make enough tea at the desired strength to completely cover the fruit. Pour on while hot.

Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator at least overnight as soon as the mixture is cool.

Next day, place the flour, salt in a large mixing bowl, add the lard and rub into the flour.

Mix the yeast with a teaspoon of the sugar and a little warm water and leave aside for ten minutes to let it start.

Beat the egg. Stir the spices into the flour mixture, make a well in the center of the flour and gradually knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Use the tea from the fruit to provide liquid as necessary Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour when it should double in size.

Knead again and roll until you have a rectangular shape the knead the fruit into the dough bit by bit. Roll to a rectangle again then fold to fit the greased loaf tin. Preheat oven to 375'. Cover with plastic film and leave to rise again above the sides of the tin, about 30 mins. Place tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 mins. Cover the top of the loaf with baking paper to prevent burning and bake for another 30 mins. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped. If not bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes until it does.Brush with a little honey if a sticky glaze is desired. Cool on a wire rack.

Slice and spread with salty Welsh butter,  brew a nice cup of tea and enjoy!

Tea Time Treasure

Bara Brith, what more can you say! ................All photos courtesy Flickr
Bara Brith, what more can you say! ................All photos courtesy Flickr

Comments

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    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi RTallon I hope you get to make and enjoy Bara Brith. Thanks for coming by!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and a bit about Wales with it. We have friends who will enjoy this very much!

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi saif113sb, thanks for dropping by. I hope you get to try Bara Brith one day!

    • saif113sb profile image

      saif113sb 

      7 years ago

      Very nice and great information. thanks

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Not surprised Welsh food has a comfort factor built! Nice to see you again.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      7 years ago from The English Midlands

      It was a recipe for Bara Brith, passed on to me by a cousin, which wrecked my diet!! :) :)

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Good reaction Micky. Thanks for the comment

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      I'm hungry!

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Joy Thanks for dropping by. Glad you were able to make this great bread.

      Hi knell63 Hope the Bara Brith turns out yummy. Thanks for the comment

    • knell63 profile image

      knell63 

      8 years ago from Umbria, Italy

      Ahh Gypsy, totally adore Bara Brith and luckily my wife makes gorgeous version. Just had to read the hub to cheer me up. Right off to get some ingredients now.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      8 years ago from United States

      Gypsy, I have to tell you, I got to try this bread today, as we had an unseasonably cool spell in which to bake, and even my picky husband loved it! That is one of the few "Excellent" ratings I've ever received from him for bread.

      Thanks for contributing to a great day with this recipe.

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Jill, there's nothing like that smell is there? Thanks for dropping by.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Hmmm...looks real yummy! I love the smell and taste of freshly baked bread.

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Hi Alexander Thanks for the comment, Yes Wales is truly blessed. Life is changing and more women work so 4.00pm is no longer practical

      Hi Joy, Bread making is very sensual isn't it and the smell makes it worth it too. This makes a great tea time treat. Bara Brith is also good toasted.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      8 years ago from United States

      Now THIS is more like it! I'll have to wait until it's cool enough to bake here, but that'll only be another couple months, I guess.

      I love making bread.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I'm getting fatter just reading this. I was aghast when I read that some people chose to push back tea time to 6pm, that's blasphemy! Sorry, I couldn't help it, I heard the English are very particular about that 4 o'clock tea time and was surprised to learn that Wales also has the same tradition. Sounds like fun with Bara Brith. Seems like food in Wales is very fruit oriented, is everyone there blessed to be surrounded by nature? The way you described your youth in previous hubs leads me to think that when so much of your food involves natural elements off the land, (or sea).

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Tenby is always popular almost all year. So much to do and so pretty. I hope you are enjoying it!

    • Jodi Hoeksel profile image

      Jodi Hoeksel 

      8 years ago

      Oh yes, for the most part the weather has been beautiful! We have spent a lot of time in Tenby. Today it was amazing, packed though. Time to hit the not so populated beaches til things cool off. Holiday travellers have arrived. :)

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      So glad to help, Jodi. At least you wont have far to go to try this dish. Hope the Welsh summer is behaving for you!

    • Jodi Hoeksel profile image

      Jodi Hoeksel 

      8 years ago

      Sounds very good, Gypsy! I will have to try this. I so appreciate all your Welsh culture and recipe hubs. they really help me to feel more connected to the culture. :)

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Mine too! Thanks for dropping by!

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      8 years ago

      Pix 1, 2 and 5 are my favorites! Drool!

    • Gypsy Willow profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Glad you enjoyed it Tom! Perhaps you'll drop by for a cuppa and a slice of Bara Brith one day!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 

      8 years ago from United States

      Sounds Yummy! Great article, Gypsy!

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