A traditional Irish spiced bread eaten around Halloween (very tasty anytime)
Items were placed in the dough to predict the future year ahead, a coin meant the finder would have wealth or good fortune, a ring meant the finder would be married within the year, a thimble they would remain single, a bean ment money worries. I would not recommend adding any items to your bread, it might spoil the taste, also if anyone breaks a tooth it may result in costly dentist bills (plus they will not be able to eat the bread) Instead place the items in little boxes which your Halloween guests can open, much safer.
In a bowl add:
- 1 heaped tsp fast action dried yeast (or if you prefer use fresh yeast prepared in normal way and added with wet ingredients)
- 8 oz/ 250 g/ 2 cups plain flour
- 1 heaped tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 oz/50 g/2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1/4 pt/ 125 ml/ 1/2 cup warm milk (if the milk is too hot to put your finger in its too hot to add to the mixture)
- 1 beaten egg
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 6 oz/ 200 g/ 2 cups mixed fruit (I used chopped apricots but for a more traditional brack you can use a mix of sultanas, currants, & raisins)
- 2 tbsp flaked almonds (not in traditional recipes but I like the texture and taste)
- 1 heaped tablespoon chopped candied peel lightly knead together adding the fruit, peel and nuts
Mix 3 tsp caster sugar with 3 tsp boiling water until dissolved As soon as brack is removed from the oven pour sugar mix evenly over the top.
Eat brack warm or cold buttered with tea or coffee Keep covered (if hidden from other family members it will last for several days) I cut a slice and place in the microwave for 30 seconds to heat before serving (more slices require a little more time, do not over heat)