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Irish Barmbrack Bread {in the Bread Machine}

Adapted from Seasons & Suppers

Irish Barmbrack Bread with tea-soaked raisins ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #wholewheat #irish #yeast #breadmachine #recipe

St. Patty’s Day is just around the corner. It’s one of my favorite holidays … and no, not just because of the beer. I have always been fascinated with Ireland. It’s on the list of places I must go. When I visited England and Scotland years ago, I wanted to go to Ireland too, but our British friends would have none of that. Well, next time, I shall go no matter what they say. There’s something calling me there.

Anyway, to celebrate things that are truly Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, rather than just drinking green beer (how can food coloring in beer be Irish?), I wanted to find some REAL Irish recipes. I went looking for something besides the normal Irish Soda Bread everyone seems to make for St. Patrick’s Day and found this beautiful loaf called Barmbrack at Seasons & Suppers. I was fascinated. The bread includes tea-soaked raisins. I had never thought to soak my raisins in tea! What a clever idea. It is, apparently, a bread the Irish make for Halloween and here I am making it for St. Patrick’s Day. Ah well, they won’t mind, will they?

Making this loaf in the bread machine with tea-soaked soft raisins right at the start of the kneading leaves almost none of the raisins intact. They get ripped into bits and incorporated into the bread, leaving a lightly sweet, nutmeg scented bread that is just lovely. I served it to my friends with some Irish Seafood Chowder for dinner and they absolutely loved it. My daughter is smitten with this bread too. She has a penchant for nutmeg.

Irish Barmbrack Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 large loaf of bread

Irish Barmbrack Bread


  • 1 cup strong-brewed English Breakfast or black tea
  • 1 cup mixed raisins (I used a mix of black, golden & craisins)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, cut into small bits
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Steep the tea, then let it cool to room temperature. Put the raisins in a bowl and pour the tea over. Let the raisins soak in the tea at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain the tea off, reserving it if needed for extra moisture in the bread.
  2. Put the flours in a bowl with the butter. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, mix the butter into the flours until there are no noticeable chunks left.
  3. Put the flours with the rest of the ingredients in the bread machine and put it on the dough setting.
  4. When the dough is near done, heat the oven to 170 F. and then turn it off. Oil an 8 - 10 inch cast iron pan and add the dough, smoothing it out to cover the pan. Brush the top with oil (or spray with cooking spray). Set the pan in the oven, cover with a clean towel, and let rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
  5. Remove the towel and heat the oven to 350 F. Bake for 45 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when thumped on top. Check the loaf halfway through—if it is browning too much, cover with foil for the rest of the baking time.


Cook time doesn't include rising time or bread machine dough time.

RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

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Irish Barmbrack Bread with tea-soaked raisins ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #wholewheat #irish #yeast #breadmachine #recipe

This recipe was shared at Sunday’s Simple Homemaker.

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2 Responses

  1. Hey, just wanted to drop you a note and say thanks so much for linking up over at Sunday’s Simple Homemaker on Prairie Gal Cookin! Your recipe was featured!

    Please feel free to drop in and leave a different link or two on this week’s link-up, we’d love to have you! http://www.prairiegalcookin.com/sundays-simple-homemaker-3rd-weekly-link-up/

    March 15, 2016 at 1:06 pm

  2. Pingback: Sunday’s Simple Homemaker 3rd Weekly Link-Up | Prairie Gal Cookin'