Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barm Brack

Since today is another high school football playoff day and the team our nephew is on is the Celtics, I thought I'd leave you with an Irish bread recipe that our neighbor gave us a few weeks ago. The girls in her club made it and we got to taste it and it was GOOD! She told us that the Irish would make this on Halloween and bake a wedding ring into it. The person who finds the ring can be confident that he or she will become engaged before the year is out. Hope you enjoy it too. GO CELTICS!

Barm Brack

4 to 5 C bread or all purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lemon peel
2 pkg dry yeast
1/2 C butter, room temperatures
3/4 C water
1/2 C milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 C golden raisins
1/2 C chopped mixed candied fruit
1 tsp sugar dissolved in 1 tbl water
1 wedding ring (just Kidding)

In a large mixing bowl, measure 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, lemon peel and yeast. In a saucepan, combine the butter, water and milk and heat over a low flame until the liquid is hot (120-130 F). Add to the dry ingredients and beat by hand with a wooden spoon or with the flat beater of a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs and the 3/4 C flour, or enough to make a thick batter. Beat vigorously by hand or at high speed in the mixer for 2 minutes.

Add flour, 1/4 C at a time, beating with the spoon and working with your hands, or in the mixer using a dough hook, to form a shaggy mass that can be lifted from the bowl and placed on the work surface.

Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, or with the mixer. The dough will leave the sides of the bowl in the mixer and gather around the dough hook. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave until risen to twice its original size, about 45 minutes.

Punch down the dough and turn onto floured work surface. Work in the raisins and candied fruit. Divide dough in half, shape into a ball and let rest for 5 minutes, under a towel.

Form into a loaf, place into pans and let rise again, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake until done about 35 to 40 minutes. Turn out one loaf and tap the bottom with a finger. A hard hollow sound means the light golden brown loaf is done. Finally brush the crusts with the sugar glaze. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until shiny. Remove from oven and cut into thick slices while still warm, served with ample butter.

God Bless and have a peaceful and restful Sunday!