Barmbrack is a traditional Irish bread made with dried fruit that has been steeped in tea. Often served on Halloween, I chose it to represent Ireland in our Euro 2016 food challenge.
There are both yeast and quick bread versions of barmbrack – I decided to make a yeast one using a recipe I’d clipped from a magazine years ago.
I soaked my fruit in the morning, planning to bake mid-afternoon, in time for the Ireland-Sweden match, but the dough had other plans… Continue reading
Soda bread and I have never got on… My go-to quick bread has always been baking powder biscuits – I could throw together a batch with my eyes closed, and they would turn out light as air, fluffy and delightful.
Soda bread is another story. Whatever I do, it turns out heavy as rock, dense and… undelightful. I still remember making it for the first time in Home Ec. The ugly brown lump that emerged from my oven had a crust like rhinosaurus hide and a sullen, pastelike interior. It had somehow doubled in weight– though not in size – and could have been used as a weapon in close combat.
So when the Great British Bake-off contestants were tasked with producing a signature quick bread, my first thought was to make something based on biscuit dough. That would have been the easy way to go… Continue reading