Barm Brack From “Pomegranate Soup”


Pomegranate Soup is about three young Iranian sisters who emigrate to small-town Ireland, where they open a restaurant. A lot of great Persian food wafts throughout the book, but naturally Irish fare is also mentioned. Barm Brack is a traditional Irish bread often served at Halloween or Samhain. It’s also great for St. Paddy’s Day. More complex than soda bread, it’s really yummy toasted or made into bread pudding once it’s a few days old. Not only on traditional festivals, you can have it on other special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. The soup is nutritious and the taste is super. Moreover, it is liked by people of all ages.

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup room temperature milk
  • 1 1/4 cups raisins or currants
  • 2 rounded tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cake or package of yeast
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup mixed chopped candied citrus peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 egg

Mix the Dry Ingredients

Rub in the butter. Combine the yeast with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon milk. Add the remaining sugar to the flour mixture and blend. Add the milk and egg to the yeast miixture then blend with the flour. Use a dough hook for about 5 minutes or knead for ten minutes. When the dough is elastic add the fruit. Let rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled. Place in two greased cake or loaf pans. Leave to rise for thirty minutes. Bake at 400. You can combine 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons hot water as a glaze. Spread or dribble over the bread at the end of baking and cook for an additional three minutes. For Halloween/Samhain, I add charms which you can use to tell your future, but that is strictly optional.

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