About this recipe:This favourite Welsh teabread – its name means ‘speckled bread’ – is usually made with a yeast dough by bakers but this recipe doesn't require yeast and uses a quick-mix method at home. Soaking the dried fruit in tea makes it very juicy, and produces a moist loaf with good keeping qualities. Serve it thickly sliced and lightly spread with butter or soft cheese.
2 tea bags
330ml (11 fl oz) boiling water
225g (8 oz) mixed dried fruit
170g (6 oz) self-raising white flour
170g (6 oz) self-raising wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
55g (2 oz) light muscovado sugar
1 egg, beaten
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Place the tea bags in a heatproof measuring jug and pour in the boiling water. Stir, then leave to infuse for 3–4 minutes. Put the dried fruit in a bowl. Remove the tea bags, squeezing them over the jug, and pour the tea over the fruit. Cover and set aside to soak for at least 5 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 160 C / Gas 3. Grease and line a 900g (2 lb) loaf tin. Sift the white and wholemeal flours, baking powder and spice into a bowl, tipping in any bran left in the sieve. Stir in the sugar.
Pour in the soaked dried fruit, scraping in all the liquid from the bowl, and add the beaten egg. Lightly mix the egg and fruit together, then stir in the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. The mixture should be soft enough to drop easily off the spoon. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons more hot water if needed.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread it out evenly. Bake for about 1 1/4 hours or until the loaf is well risen and firm, cracked along the middle and browned on top. Cover loosely with foil for the last 20 minutes of baking if it is becoming too brown.
Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. This teabread tastes particularly good if it is left for 1 to 2 days before eating. It can be kept, in a polythene bag in a cool place, for about 5 days.
Each slice provides
B1, B6, copper, iron, selenium
Some more ideas
Vary the flavour of the teabread by using different types of tea with just one kind of dried fruit. For example, try currants soaked in Earl Grey tea, or raisins soaked in rose-scented tea. Omit the mixed spice to avoid overpowering the delicate flavours of these teas. * For nutty bara brith, add 100g (3 1/2 oz) chopped walnuts with the sugar.
Most of the carbohydrate in dried fruit is in the form of sugars, but unlike refined sugar, dried fruit offers more than just sweetness – it is a valuable source of fibre and many other nutrients. Including a good amount of dried fruit in this teabread means that it contains far less sugar than bought teabreads. It is also very low in fat.
very quick easy tasty moist loved by all must admit did add extra egg and a dash of brandy and just used 4 full tablespoons of both flours as I never use scales and cooked in a ring shape tin just lovely! - 10 Aug 2010