Lovely Friday.

Here is our super tasty soup.

This is bittersweet as we’re going to finish-up dishes we have hanging about this weekend and I’m back to work on Monday. I’ve loved being home with the little one.

I made this lovely bread in the truly traditional way with a coin in it. Normally this is eaten around Hallowe’en and the person who gets the coin also receives a lot of luck!

Irish Barmbrack
•450g/ 4 cups strong bread flour
•25g/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
•50g/ ¼ cup caster, superfine sugar
•7.5 ml/ 1 ½ teaspoons easy blend yeast
•2.5 ml/ ½ teaspoon ground ginger
•1.5 ml/ ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
•175g/1 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
•175g/ 1 cup currants
•50g/ ¼ cup chopped mixed (candied) peel
•300ml/ 1 ¼ cup of warm strong tea
How to make Irish Barmbrack
Place the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in 5 ml/1 teaspoon of the sugar.

Then add the yeast, ginger and nutmeg mix well

Stir in the sultanas, currants and mixed peel and make a well in the centre.

Gradually work in enough of the warm tea to make a soft but not sticky dough.

Knead well until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl clean.

Knead on a lightly floured board for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Place in an oiled bowl cover with Cling-film (plastic wrap)and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size
Knead again and then shape into a large round and place on a greased baking sheet.

Cover and leave in a warm place or 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Shape into a greased and lined 900g/ 2lb loaf tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 230°C/450°F gas mark 8 for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F gas mark 6 for a further 20 minutes until well risen and golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

Dissolve the remaining sugar in 15ml/ 1 tablespoon of hot water and brush the syrup over the loaf and return to the oven for 2 minutes.

Leave to cool then serve sliced with butter.

A couple of things that I did differently: 1) I don’t like candied peel so I chopped some candied ginger instead. 2) I don’t like currents so I used dried blueberries instead. Yummmm…