Monday, November 8, 2021

Bara Brith (Welsh Tea Bread)

It's time for Baking Bloggers again.  I've not participated in many online blogging events, cause I just haven't felt like making or baking food the past few months.  I had an excuse. 

However the event this month for Baking Bloggers was for Quick Breads and Tea Loaves.  

I love making a quick bread or Tea Bread.  Most of the time, they satisfy my sweet tooth, without having to make and frost a cake.  

And they can be frozen and brought out when you want a 'little' something to accompany a cuppa.  

Bara Brith is a Welsh Tea Bread, which means speckled bread.  And not only do you eat it alongside a cuppa, but you put the tea in the bread as well.  

Would that make it a double tea bread? 

Bara Brith Tea Bread

Simple right?   Well, not exactly.  You see like most recipes that are tried and true and that are region specific, there are variations.  Lots and lots of variations. 

One story I read said that bakeries in Wales would gather all the leftover bread dough at the end of the day, add dried fruits to it and bake it.  Which would explain the recipes out there that use yeast to leaven the bread. Some recipes use self rising flour and all have dried fruits.  Many of the recipes also incorporate candied citron. Which I didn't have on hand, and quite frankly, didn't feel like making.  I usually make my own, but... 

And then as I read the recipes I'd googled online, and also looked up in my cookbooks, discovered that many of the authentic recipes called for mixed spice.   OK, I got that, but did not want to sub in pumpkin spice or apple spices as some recommended, I instead decided to make up my own little jar of mixed spice.  I wanted to make it taste proper, and that meant using the right spices.  And I'm glad I did.  

You do need to plan a little ahead with this bread though, cause you soak the dried fruits in tea overnight.  Many recipes just call for strong black tea, but some variations call for Earl Grey Tea, however I used some Lady Grey Tea I had in the cupboard.  The slight citrus tang of the tea was wonderful with the fruits. 

Also, I used a combo of three dried fruits I had on hand, but you can use any combo you like.  I had prunes, golden raisins, and dried cranberries. I chopped the prunes up a little so that they were roughly the same size as the raisins and cranberries.  I also used the organic dried Cranberries from Trader Joe's so they weren't as vibrantly colored as most dried cranberries. 

Dried fruit for Bara Brith

I do want to say that, it really is helpful to use a scale and a proper measuring cup for this, however, I basically winged it with the fruit.  I guesstimated the proportions, but I love dried fruit in pretty much any tea bread.  I also want to say that dried currants are usually used in this as well, but they're hard to come by in this part of the world, so I subbed in what I had on hand.  Depending on how 'dry' your fruit is, it will have absorbed most, if not all the tea.  But don't worry, just dump the whole thing in there.  This was just after I put the hot tea on the fruit.  I forgot to take a picture the next morning but much of the tea had been absorbed.  The tea gave the bread a lovely tan color.
Soaked fruit for Bara Brith Tea Bread

 Another fun thing to do with the bread, is spread warmed honey on top of the freshly baked loaf.   It adds another lovely dimension or layer of flavor. 

Bara Brith Tea Bread

Bara Brith (Welsh Tea Bread)

Bara Brith (Welsh Tea Bread)

Yield: 6
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking -
Prep time: 12 HourCook time: 1 Hourinactive time: 12 HourTotal time: 25 Hour
This tea bread can be enjoyed with a 'cuppa', or just on it's own, spread with a good butter. Best enjoyed the next day, it keeps for several days, but guaranteed that it won't last that long in your house.


Fruit Mixture
  • 1/2 cup each - 
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Golden Raisins
  • Currants or Prunes
  • 1 cup hot tea - Earl Grey or Lady Grey or your favorite black tea.
  • 250 gr. Self Rising Flour
  • 1 tsp. Mixed Spice
  • 100 gr. Brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Warmed Honey to glaze (about 1-2 tablespoons)


soaked Fruit
  1. Make a strong cup of black tea, Earl Grey works well here.
  2. Pour over the measured out fruit and set aside to soak overnight.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
  2. Grease a 2# loaf pan and set aside.
  3. Mix the flour, spices and brown sugar together in a large bowl. 
  4. Add the egg and dried fruit along with the tea it soaked in.  Mix together until just combined.  Pour or spoon prepared batter into the greased pan and place in oven. 
  5. Turn out loaf onto a rack, and place right side up. Using a pastry brush, paint the warmed honey over the loaf and leave to cool.  After it's cooled, wrap it up.  Wait to cut it until it is fully cool, even the next day. Serve with fresh butter.  


Did you make this recipe?
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Baking Bloggers November 2021

Quick Breads

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.


  1. It sounds lovely thoughts and prayers have been with you as the holidays approach. Hugs to you, my friend.

    1. Thank you. It's been an interesting ride these past few months, not one I care to repeat. I'll be spending the holidays with my family this year, first time in over 20 years. It will be a good time.

  2. Amazing! I tasted this when I vivited UK, but never tried. Your recipe sounds amazing with lovely texture. I would love to make the spice mix and the bread. Great share!

    1. That spice mix is divine. And the bread, brings back such great memories of eating it when I was younger. I'll be making it a lot, I think.


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