With Saint Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d try my hand at making some traditional Irish foods with a modern American twist. This Irish Tea Brack (also known as Irish Freckle Bread) is a sweet and fruity dense quick break that is surprisingly simple to make. It’s a recipe that anyone can prepare. Surprisingly, it’s only liquid is Irish Breakfast tea. Here’s how it works.
It starts with a collection of dried fruits such as raisins, currents, yellow raisins, diced prunes and diced dates. Steep them in a cup of strong Irish Breakfast tea (I use decaf) for about 20 minutes. You’ll want the tea to cool fully before continuing with recipe. Occasionally stir the fruit in order to release their flavors into the tea.
Once the tea has cooled, you are ready to prepare the batter. Like most quick breads, it’s a simple process of combining your ingredients. Start with combining the dry ingredients; bread flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a beater, mix in the fruit and tea with a well beaten egg. Combine them fully and add them to a greased cake pan to bake.
I like to bake mine in a cast iron Dutch oven, but all you need is an 8″ cake pan. Either way, this Tea Brack bakes up into a dense sweet and fruity bread. The dried fruit adds a creamy texture to the bread. In order to add texture to the bread, I like to fold in crushed walnuts. For this batch, I’ve omitted the walnuts because I’ll be using this loaf to make crostini.
To make the crostini, you’ll want to slice your bread in 1/4″ thick slices. If they are too thick, they won’t toast properly. They’ll to toast, as well as, dehydrate. This will take a bit longer than other breads, because of the fruit. Place the slices on a drying wrack so that the air can circulate well on both sides. Lightly toast your slices in a preheated 350 degree oven. Toast the bread for 5 minutes before flipping the slices. Once you have rotated the bread, turn the heat off the oven. Watch them carefully for the 10 – 15 minutes to make sure they aren’t burning.
The hearty sweetness of Irish Tea Brack works great as a quick snack or a flavorful addition to any chacuterie board. I like to take the crostini along on hikes for a nice energy boost and a change from granola. Another great thing about this bread is that you can switch up the dried fruits to create your own favorite blend. Try it with dried figs some time. Either way, you’re going to really enjoy this recipe.
Irish Tea BrackCourse: Baking From ScratchCuisine: BreadDifficulty: Easy
The Irish Tea Brack (also known as Irish Freckle Bread) is a sweet and fruity dense quick break that is surprisingly simple to make. It’s a recipe that anyone can prepare.
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Yellow Raisins
1/2 cup Currants
1 cup Prunes, diced
1 cup Dried Dates, diced
1 cup strong Irish Breakfast Tea (I used decaf)
2 cups Bread Flour
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 T. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 large egg, well beaten
2 T. Sugar
- Combine your dried fruit in a shallow bowl. Pour the tea over the fruit and allow to steep for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Stir the fruit occasionally to help combine the flavors.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients; bread flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Sift them together.
- Beaten the egg and add it to the flour mixture. Pour in the fruit and tea mixture.
- Thoroughly combine the ingredients using a mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a greased an 8″ cake pan and bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour at 325 degrees, or until a knife, inserted in the center of the bread, comes out clean.
- Your bread will not rise much, as it is meant to be dense bread.
12 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories165
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat .2g 1%
- Sodium 255mg 11%
- Potassium 251mg 8%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 1.3g 6%
- Sugars 26g
- Protein 1.54g 4%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.