Barm Brack, Irish Yeast-Risen Tea Cake
Irish Tea Cakes
Last updated 6/12/2012 12:59:40 AM. Recipe ID 22665. Report a problem with this recipe.
Title: Barm brack, irish yeast-risen tea cake
Yield: 4 Servings
3/4 c Milk
1/2 c Water
1 1/2 Envelopes (1 tablespoon)
Active dry yeast
1 1/2 c Unbleached, all-purpose
1 1/2 c Golden raisins
1/2 c Currants
1/2 c Diced candied orange or
Lemon peel, or a
6 tb Soft unsalted butter
1/3 c Sugar
1 ts Salt
1/2 ts Ground cinnamon
1/4 ts Freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 ts Ground cloves
1/8 ts Ground allspice
2 lg Eggs
3 c Unbleached, all-purpose
To make the sponge, in a small saucepan over low flame, heat the milk
and water until just warm, about 110 degrees. Pour into a small bowl,
whisk in yeast and stir in flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap
and allow sponge to rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
Combine the raisins, currants and candied peel in a saucepan, cover
with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain fruit and
spread it in a single layer on paper towels to cool and dry slightly
while preparing the dough.
To mix the dough by hand, beat butter with sugar, salt and spices
until soft and smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then continue
beating until smooth and light. Stir in sponge and remaining flour.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it until it is
smooth and elastic, about
To make the dough in a mixer, use a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the
paddle and beat butter with sugar, salt and spices until soft and
smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then continue beating until
smooth and light. Beat in sponge and remaining flour. Continue to mix
until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
To mix the dough in the food processor, place butter, sugar, salt,
spices and eggs in work bowl fitted with metal blade. Pulse 10 or 12
times at 1-second intervals to mix smooth. Remove metal blade and
attach plastic blade; add sponge and remaining flour and pulse to
form a dough. Process continuously for 15 seconds.
Place dough in a buttered bowl and cover with buttered plastic wrap,
butter side down. Allow dough to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1
Punch dough to deflate and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Distribute fruit on dough
and knead it in evenly by continuing to fold dough over onto itself.
Cover with plastic wrap or a dry towel and allow to rest 30 minutes.
Butter two 8-inch diameter by 2-inch deep cake pans and line the
bottom of each with a piece of parchment or butter waxed paper, cut
to fit. Place half the dough in each and press to make tops flat and
even. Cover pans with buttered plastic wrap or a dry towel and allow
Bracks to rise until doubled, up to 1 hour.
Once the Bracks have begun to puff visibly, set a rack at the middle
level of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. When the Bracks are
completely risen, bake them for about 45 minutes, or until well risen
and a deep golden brown. Test by inserting a thin knife or skewer
near the center; if it is done it will emerge without any raw dough
clinging to it. Cool on racks for 5 minutes, then unmold and place
rack on racks to cool completely.
Yield: 2 8-inch cakes, about 20 generous servings
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