Here’s an easy and delicious something… there are recipes for all from all across the country, called different things, but essentially the same. There is for example yummy Welsh bara brith – I’m sure every Welsh person or person with a Welsh mother or grandmother has their own family recipe. Another example is Cornish saffron cake, brilliantly yellow from the native saffron and then there’s traditional Guernsey gâche, Selkirck bannocks and Yorkshire barm brack and Irish barm brack…

Here is a recipe which I have had for a long time, and i don’t know whether it is Yorkshire or Irish in origin (and I’m not sure of the difference if there is any)

Barm brack

  • ¼ pint tepid milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh yeast
  • 8 oz plain flour
  • 2 oz caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 6 oz mixed dried fruit
  • 1 or 2 very generous tsp mixed spice or spices of your choice
  • a pinch salt
  1. cream the yeast, sugar and milk and leave to froth up
  2. mix the flour, caster sugar and spice and rub in the butter until it’s like breadcrumbs
  3. make a dip in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture and the egg
  4. beat the whole lot together until it works into a big ball of dough (you might just mix it with your hands as Paul Hollywood does) The dough should be smooth, soft and elastic
  5.  work in the salt and the fruit now, by hand, and knead well
  6. put the dough in a warm bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour until it doubles in size
  7. knock back and knead again but only very lightly
  8. put in a greased 7 inch cake tin and let rise for another  30 mins
  9. bake at the top of the oven at gas mark 6, 400°F, 200°C for about 45 minutes
  10. when cooked you can glaze it with syrup (dissolve 2 tsp sugar in a little boiling water)
  11. eat with loads of butter

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