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Bara Brith

Bara Brith is a gorgeous rich & moist teatime treat.  Spread with butter for a delicious

accompaniment to a cup of tea after a busy day exploring the Carmarthenshire countryside.


8 fl oz (225 ml) milk

 2 oz (50 g) brown sugar, plus 1 teaspoon

 4 level teaspoons dried yeast

 1 lb (450 g) strong plain flour

 1 level teaspoon salt

 3 oz (75 g) butter (or margarine)

 1 level teaspoon mixed spice

 1 egg, beaten

 12 oz (350 g) mixed dried fruit

 clear honey, to glaze


  • First warm the milk in a small saucepan till it's hand-hot, and then pour it into a bowl. 
  • Whisk in the teaspoon of sugar, followed by the yeast, then leave it in a warm place to froth for about 15 minutes.
  • Now sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, stirring in the remaining 2 oz (50 g) sugar as well. 
  • Then rub the fat into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. 
  • Stir in the mixed spice next, then pour in the beaten egg and frothed yeast, and mix to a dough.
  • Now turn the dough on to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), then replace the dough in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth or some clingfilm.  Leave in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size – about 1½ hours. 
  • After that, turn the dough out and knock it down to get the air out, then gradually knead the fruit in and pat out to a rectangular shape. 
  • Roll it up from one short side to the other and put it in the loaf tin (seam-side down).
  • Place the tin inside an oiled plastic bag and leave it to rise, until the dough has rounded nicely above the edge of the tin (about 30-45 minutes). Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C). 
  • When the dough has risen and springs back when pressed lightly with a floured finger, remove the bag; transfer the loaf to the oven and bake on the shelf below centre for 30 minutes. Then cover the top of the loaf tin with foil to prevent it over-browning, and continue to bake for a further 30 minutes.
  • Turn the loaf out, holding it in a tea-cloth in one hand and tapping the base with the other. It should sound hollow – if not, pop it back upside down (without the tin) for 5 minutes more. 
  • Cool the loaf on a wire rack, and brush the top with clear Welsh honey to make it nice and sticky, before the loaf cools. 

Slice thinly and serve buttered - a real treat and well worth the effort.If you'd rather experience someone else's baking whilst on holiday, take a look in the market in Carmarthen - you'll find several stalls offering home baked Bara Brith