Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Bara Briff

riff is sometimes defined as 'improvisation' or 'variation on the original' - I made some Bara Brith Welsh teabread, but tweaked the recipe, so I guess it is Bara Briff. Kirsten had sent me a pack of interesting tea in the last Postcard exchange.

It was called "Bears Like Marmalade " and listed as ingredients apple, rosehip, hibiscus, orange and lemon peel, sumac berries, orange blossom and natural flavouring.

When freshly made, it started out an alarming blood red hue, but settled down to a crimson liquid. [I think the sumac berries  gave it the colour] You could smell the floral, rose notes, and taste the citrussy notes. It was OK - but not my first choice for a fruit tea. But I couldn't waste it. So I made a jugful and used it for this tea bread...[recipe based on my 1982 Cranks Cookbook]


  • 250g mixed dried fruit
  • 50g sugar
  • 50g chopped walnuts
  • grated rind of ½ an orange
  • 400ml of tea
  • 350g plain flour [sift and stir in the bp]
  • 2tsp baking powder 
  • 1 free range egg, beaten
  1. Put fruit, sugar, rind and tea in a pan, 
  2. Simmer 20 mins
  3. Allow to cool
  4. Stir in nuts, flour, egg and baking powder
  5. Pour into greased, lined 2lb loaf tin
  6. Bake at 180º for 45 minutes
  7. Serve sliced and buttered
The fruit tea worked really well, and gave the cake a lovely orangey, fresh taste. The walnuts added to the flavour . The original recipe required 2tsp mixed spice, but I felt that was unnecessary with the flavoured tea.
  It was delicious - even without butter! Thank you Kirsten, for sending me "Paddington's beloved marmalade infused tea"

More Bird&Blend Teas on their website here

UPDATE Apologies - I omitted 50g sugar from ingredients, thank you Marilyn for letting me know. Recipe duly amended


  1. I'm not a big fruit tea fan. I'll have lemon balm or lemon verbena but anything else just tastes like bath water to me! The bara brith was a good idea!
    And yes, I did know that about Inspector Morse. It is an ostinato-a repeated pattern!

    1. Thanks, I knew you'd understand about the Morse Music!

  2. Sounds like you found a delicious use for the tea! :)

    1. It proved very successful. I've just discovered this company has a small shop in Norwich, I must visit it sometime.

  3. Looks delicious. Regine

  4. Hi, Angela! Being of Welsh extraction with a lot of Welsh relations in Pennsylvania I have learned to make Welsh cakes (totally unknown here in Texas so they make me somewhat of a baking celebrity — but only with Welsh cakes). I have heard of Bara Brith but never attempted it. Difficult? Is is sweet or savory? I might have to expand my Welsh repertoire of recipes.

    1. This is a good Welsh site explaining things I do hope you have a try at making some. Delicious buttered with a cup of tea (or coffee)

  5. That sounds amazing. I haven't had a proper tea bread in years.

  6. Some of the fruit teas are less appealing than others and that was a great idea to use yours for the Bara Brith which sounds like it was quite successful. I have made a similar recipe using regular tea and now I'm thinking it might be fun to use a fruit tea for a change.

    1. You could add in some different fruit (eg dried cranberries) too

  7. I'm glad the tea was a success, even if not as a drink!

    1. Thank you K - it made a splendid loaf!!

  8. I often use fruit tea bags in making tea bread - especially those that are less successful as tea! Yours looks a good recipe.


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