Barm Brack

Sue Stone


Posted for Culinary Quest - Ireland

Note: Prep time does not include the time it takes to raise the dough.


★★★★★ 1 vote

Makes 2 loaves
30 Min
1 Hr


  • 4 to 4-1/2 c
    all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c
    plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 1 pkg
    rapid-rise active dry yeast (1/4 oz.)
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 c
    plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • 3/4 c
  • 1/4 c
    butter, softened (1/2 stick)
  • 1
  • 1 c
    golden raisins
  • 1/2 c
    chopped dried or candied fruit (apricots, cherries, prunes, etc.)

How to Make Barm Brack


  1. Place 4 cups flour in a large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup water, milk and butter; heat over low heat until butter melts and temperature reaches 120º to 130ºF. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; beat with electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until well blended. Beat in egg. Gradually add additional flour until slightly sticky dough forms.
  3. Attach dough hook to mixer; knead at low speed 4 minutes or 8 minutes by hand on a floured surface. Transfer dough to large greased bowl; turn to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place 45 minute to 1 hour or until doubled.
  4. Spray two 8"x4" loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Punch down dough; transfer to floured surface. Knead in raisins and dried fruit. Divide dough into two balls; cover and let rest 5 minutes. To shape loaves, flatten and stretch each ball of dough into an oval shape. Bring long sides together and pinch to seal; fold over short ends and pinch to seal. Place in prepared pans seam side down. Cover and let rise in warm place 45 minutes or until dough almost reaches tops of pans.
  5. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until browned (cover loosely with foil if loaves begin to overbrown). Dissolve remaining 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 Tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush over loaves; bake 2 additional minutes. Cool in pan for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.
  6. Note: This fruity loaf is traditionally served on Halloween. Charms are bake into the bread to predict the future. If your piece of barm brack contains a ring, you will get married within the year; if you find a coin, you'll be rich.

Printable Recipe Card

About Barm Brack

Course/Dish: Other Breads
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: UK/Ireland

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