Cathy

mum

Get baking and crafting for St David's Day

Celebrate on Tuesday with this scrummy recipe for bara brith and ideas involving leeks, daffodils and traditional Welsh hats. Pob lwc.

Get baking and crafting for St David's Day
It’s Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant or Saint David’s day on Tuesday and to honour our Welsh ancestors, especially my beloved Nain and Taid, we will be baking bara brith and decorating the house with daffodils – not that we really need much excuse to get crafty and eat yummy cake in our house.
 
Bara brith translates as speckled bread and is traditionally made with raisins soaked overnight in tea. It’s a delicious tea loaf for any day of the year and freezes well too.
 

Ingredients for bara brith tea loaf

 
300g dried fruit, usually raisins but dates and cherries work well too
 
225ml strong tea
 
50g butter at room temperature
 
100g brown sugar
 
1 egg
 
225g self-raising flour
 
1 tablespoon Demerara sugar (optional topping)
 

How to make bara brith

 
  • Soak the dried fruit in the tea. We usually get this started the day before and leave the fruit to soak overnight as it needs at least five hours to properly soak up the tea
  • When you're ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 180C / Gas 4
  • Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line it with baking paper
  • Place the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl and beat them together
  • Beat an egg into the butter and sugar
  • Sift in the flour and mix in gently
  • Pour the fruit and any remaining tea into the bowl and mix in
  • Spoon the mixture into your loaf tin and level off the top
  • If you like you can sprinkle the extra tablespoon of sugar over the top of the loaf to make a sweet crust
  • Bake for one hour. You can use a skewer to check the middle of the bara brith is properly cooked, by poking it in the centre of the loaf. If it comes out clean without any cake stuck to it your loaf is ready, otherwise let it bake for a few minutes longer
  • Leave it to cool completely in the tin then slice and serve, spread with butter if you like

Celebrate St. David’s day in style

If you’re looking for some more Welsh celebration ideas Filth Wizadry shows you how to craft leeks and traditional Welsh hats. For daffodils you might like my daffodil windmill idea or Notes from Emily’s egg box version.
 
And if you need a main course before your bara brith Anglesey eggs would be perfect.
 
Photo: Cathy James

6 Comments

  • Linda

    editor

    Linda Jones, Editor

    25 February, 2011

    Thanks for this Cathy, I may break the habit of a lifetime and bake some of this lovely bread, may even dig out a few love spoons to help me on my way...

  • Cathy

    mum

    Cathy James

    25 February, 2011

    Ooh go Linda, give it a try. Pinny on!

  • Linda

    editor

    Linda Jones, Editor

    25 February, 2011

    Pinny? Eh? What's that?

  • Maggie

    mum

    Maggie Christie

    25 February, 2011

    St David's Day catches me by surprise every year. Time to dig out the Welsh costumes for school (I hope they fit!). I usually make Welsh cakes but this year I might try your bara brith for a change - it sounds delicious. Diolch yn fawr!

  • Linda

    editor

    Linda Jones, Editor

    25 February, 2011

    It's also my partner's birthday and he has the middle name David in its honour, so I am in big trouble if I forget.

  • Small_blank
    britsue

    26 February, 2014

    My Grandma and Dad used to bake these. I live in USA now but still have fond memories of them speaking Welsh to each other. Was lucky enough to take my husband to Wales 2012 and show him Mumbles were we used to spend our holidays as children

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