Sunday, March 17, 2013

For St. Patrick's Day: Irish Tea Brack

I like Irish soda bread as much as the next Irish girl, but the recipe I use makes a LOT of soda bread. I tried this recipe today, since I wanted to bake in a smaller quantity. It's based on a recipe from Georgina Campbell's book Classic Irish Recipes (Sterling Publishing, 1992). It is a "soda bread" but unlike the traditional soda bread, the liquid in the recipe comes from tea. Here's the recipe as I made it.


1/2 cup strong black tea
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup raisins
1 TBL orange zest
1 TBL lemon zest
4 TBL butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I used Penzey's Baking Spice instead)
pinch of salt

Mix tea, sugar and raisins in small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool. This can be done well in advance.
Grease a 2-quart round glass baking dish and line the bottom with waxed paper. Preheat oven to 350.
In a mixing bowl, combine tea mixture with citrus zest, butter and egg. Add dry ingredients and stir until mixed. Turn into prepared pan.
Bake 50 minutes or until firm to the touch. A cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle will come out clean.
Cool in the pan at least 10 minutes before turning it out onto a rack.

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