Irish Barmbrack for #BreadBakers

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Last Updated on November 13, 2019 by Chef Mireille

Irish Barmbrack for #BreadBakersKnown as Bara Brith in Wales and Brack or Barmbrack in Ireland, this is a tea bread loaded with dried fruits. There are modern versions that use chemical leaveners (baking powder, baking soda, self rising flour) which I have already demonstrated in the Welsh version here. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this month, today I am presenting the more traditional yeast risen version of Irish Barmbrack for #BreadBakers.

What does St. Patrick’s Day mean to you? For me, it used to mean freezing my butt off marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade down 5th avenue when I was in the high school band. Then in college it meant drinking the night away in an Irish pub after a meal of Shephard’s pie. As I got older, the drunk people starting in the am hours on the subway got on my nerves and now I head straight home to avoid them. During all the different phases of my youth how I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, good Irish food is something that I could always appreciate at any age. Check out the links below for some of my other Irish recipes:

Irish Soda Scones


Potato Apple Cake

Basic Scones

Irish Lamb Stew

Irish Barmbrack -edit

This month’s #BreadBakers theme hosted by Wendy is St. Patty’s Day, so that means something Irish or green. Don’t forget to check the breads posted by my other bread baking buddies posted on the bottom of the page!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected].


Irish Barmbrack is perfect for breakfast with some cheese, preserves and coffee.

Irish Barmbrack for #BreadBakers
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Irish Brack for #BreadBakers

This heavily spiced fruit packed bread is perfect for breakfast or brunch.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Irish
Servings: 16 servings


  • 2 1/2 cups strong black tea 2 tablespoons black tea for 7 minutes
  • 14 oz. chopped mixed dried fruit (dates, peaches, pears) soaked overnight in the tea
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/3 cup warmed honey


  • Combine dried fruits including cranberries in a bowl. Pour tea over the fruit and mix to combine. Leave overnight.
  • Strain and squeeze out as much liquid out of the fruit as possible.
  • In a small bowl, heat 1 cup of water to 115 – 120 F. Sprinkle yeast on top. Leave for 5-10 minutes, until foamy.
  • In a large bowl, combine 2 ½ cups of the flour with the spices, salt and sugar.
  • Add butter and proofed yeast. Using the dough hook attachment of an electric mixer, knead until you have a shaggy dough. Add another cup of flour and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Add the fruit and knead until it is well incorporated into the dough. Add an additional cup of flour and knead until well incorporated.
  • Spray a 10” springform pan with non stick spray. Place dough in cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with non stick spray and a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled, about 2 – 2 ½ hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Brush the top with the warm honey and bake for 3 minutes more.
    Irish Brack
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I'd love to share them!

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Reader Interactions


    • I enjoyed it thoroughly and reminds me of a sweet bread we also have in Suriname, where my family is from so when I shared it with my Mom she loved it as it reminded her of home

  1. That looks beautiful!

    I’m totally not into drunk people. My husband is Irish born and thinks of this holiday as totally American. I guess now it is catching on back in Ireland… funny how that happens.

  2. Hello Mireille, I once made Irish Barmbrack and we loved it. However, mine was without yeast. I would love to try out the yeasted version as well. Loved your pictures!

  3. That is a gorgeous bread Mir. I’ve never been part of the St. Patrick’s day celebrations but heard how rowdy the drunk sometimes get after the parade.

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