Dish Stories

Barmbrack | Báirín breac

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

Origin - Ireland #Irish #Sweet #Fruity #Bread

Barmbrack is a popular Irish sweet bread studded with dried fruit. Usually sold in flatted loaves, it is often served toasted with rich butter, coupled with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The dough has a light sweetness that is sweeter than a sandwich bread but lighter than a birthday cake and the dried fruits add a pleasant texture and flavor to the bread.

[ History ]Did you know that Barmbrack is the center of Irish Halloween custom? In Ireland, it is common to serve colcannon and barmbrack for Halloween.Thick slices of warm fruit bread are slathered with butter and served with tea. But, be careful as you bite your slice of barmbrack, because you might find a surprise! The Halloween Barmbrack traditionally contained various objects baked into the bread and was used as a fortune telling game. In the bread, there may be; a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a coin, and a ring. Each item as a specific meaning to the person.

Pea: The person would not marry that year Stick: Unhappy marriage full of arguments Cloth: Bad luck or become poor Coin: Good fortune or become wealthy Ring: The person would marry that year.

So next time you have a loaf of barmbrack, look out for the small surprise inside!


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