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Barmbrack loaf

Irish Barmbrack

Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Proofing Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 1 loaf


  • 2/3 cup dried currants
  • 2/3 cup raisins or sultanas
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup strong black tea cold
  • 1 packet (7g) active dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 1/2 cups (450g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (75g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp orange zest


  • Place the currants and raisins in a bowl and pour the cold tea (or water) over top. Let soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and reserve the liquid for later.
  • Stir the yeast and teaspoon of sugar in the lukewarm milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes until nice and frothy.
  • In a stand mixer place the flour, sugar, spices and salt and stir to combine. Make a well and add the melted butter, egg, zests and yeast mixture. Use the dough hook to knead until just combined. The dough will be very thick (do not add more liquid at this point because the wet currants/raisins will be added).
  • Add drained currants and raisins and candied lemon peel. Knead until combined, adding some of the reserved currant/raisin juice until a soft dough forms. Scrape down the dough from the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 90-120 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough. If making two smaller loaves, divide the dough in half and shape into rounds. If making one large loaf (as pictured), place the dough in a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  • Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for another hour or longer until nearly doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake the barmbrack on the middle rack for 50-60 minutes (less if making two smaller loaves) or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and while hot brush the loaf with the reserved currant/raisins juice for more flavor, moistness and a nice sheen and let cool.
  • Slice and serve. Barmbrack is especially good toasted and spread with butter.


Adapted from: Daring Gourmet