Irish Barmbrank

This is for those who felt that the CRUBEEN was a bit tough on the palate.
The following recipe will wipe away any tainted memories of the main course.



4cups strong bread flour
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
¼ cup caster, superfine sugar
1 ½ teaspoons easy blend yeast
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
1 cup currants
¼ cup chopped mixed (candied) peel
¼ cup of warm strong tea

How to make Irish Barmbrack

Place the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in 5 ml/1 teaspoon of the sugar.  Then add the yeast, ginger and nutmeg mix well
Stir in the sultanas, currants and mixed peel and make a well in the center.
Gradually work in enough of the warm tea to make a soft but not sticky dough.

Knead well until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl clean.
Knead on a lightly floured board for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Place in an oiled bowl cover with Cling-film (plastic wrap)and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size
Knead again and then shape into a large round and place on a greased baking sheet.

Cover and leave in a warm place or 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Shape into a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 450°F for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 400°F  for a further 20 minutes until well risen and golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

Dissolve the remaining sugar in 1 tablespoon of hot water and brush the syrup over the loaf and return to the oven for 2 minutes.

Leave to cool then serve sliced with butter.