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Almond Flour Welsh Fruit Bread {Gluten-Free & Grain-Free}

almond flour bara brith 1
Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite quick breads: Bara Brith.

Bara Brith is a traditional Welsh bread loaded with dried fruit that has been soaked in tea. The name literally translates to “speckled bread,” because every slice is polka-dotted with the dried fruit.

Much like chocolate chip cookies here in the U.S., recipes for bara brith vary tremendously, but the constants are always tea-soaked dried fruit and a mixture of spices. I’ve been meaning to begin making and freezing some quick breads for the school year (so handy for quick snacks, lunches and breakfasts), so I decided to add my own bara brith spin to the bounty of existing recipes.

Almond flour quickly became the natural choice for experimentation, largely because (a) I have several bags in the freezer; (b) I am trying to become better at using what I already have, (c) I love the texture of almond flour baked goods, (d) almonds are such a great combination of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and great flavor to boot.

I used a combination of dried fruit from the pantry: more or less equal amounts of raisins, dates, apricots and cranberries. Use whatever combination you like, but aim for a combination of at least two fruits.
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Some bara brith breads are LOADED with spices, some have a mere hint. I am partial to the middle ground. You can use a pre-made spice blend such as pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice, but I created my own blend using cinnamon, ginger, cardamom (my obsession), and nutmeg.

Orange zest is optional, but I like it. I found that chopping it up or using grated zest overpowered; as an alternative, my version calls for soaking the zest with the tea and fruit; the boiling water releases the oils and infuses the fruit with a subtle orange essence.

I kept the bread subtly sweet; it’s a bread after all, not a cake. Honey is a traditional Welsh sweetener, so I carried on the tradition here.

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Mixing up almond flour quick bread batters is a snap. Whisk the dry, add and mix in the wet ingredients and you’re done. No need to worry about over-mixing since there’s no gluten to develop.
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I am thrilled to pieces with the results of this bread! It is moist, fragrant and even a small slice is imminently satisfying.

It keeps well in the refrigerator and freezes beautifully, too. I can attest that a cup of tea is the perfect accompaniment and makes for a tremendous power snack or light meal any time of the day.
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Yield: 1 loaf

Almond Flour Bara Brith {grain-free, gluten-free}

Almond Flour Bara Brith {grain-free, gluten-free}
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 black tea bags (strong black tea)
  • Peeled zest of 1 small orange
  • 1-1/2 cups mixed chopped dried fruit (e.g., apricots, raisins, cherries, dates)
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine boiling water, tea bags and orange zest. Let brew for 5 minutes.Remove tea bags and zest. Add the dried fruit and let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. Drain, discarding tea.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x5-inch baking pan with parchment, letting paper overhang on sides.Lightly grease or spray (with nonstick cooking spray) the paper.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg. Add the eggs, honey and melted butter, stirring until well-blended. Stir in the fruit.
  4. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely in the pan. Use paper overhang to remove bread from pan. Cut into 16 slices.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size

1/16 of loaf

Amount Per Serving Calories 186Total Fat 10.2gSaturated Fat 2.5gCholesterol 31mgSodium 135mgCarbohydrates 20.4gFiber 2.7gSugar 16.2gProtein 4.2g

Did you make this recipe?

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Charlie

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

I have made this again, weighing carefully and drain all the liquid off the dried fruit and it still falls in the middle and does not look like yours.

We LOVE the taste, but just wondering what I am doing wrong.

Charlie

Charlie

Saturday 6th of March 2021

I have made this at least 4 times and it satisfies my taste for fruit cake.

But I can not get it to slice like yours.

It falls in the middle and is not firm. I have measured and weighed the flour.

HELP

Charlie

Monday 18th of January 2021

I love fruit cake, but my wife needs to be gluten free. This cake fits the bill for fruit cake.

I have made it twice and it has fallen. What have I done wrong?

Charlie

Charlie

Monday 11th of January 2021

I love fruit cake and looked for one to buy, but not willing to pay the price for one. So your recipe meet this need. I like to bake/cook, but being on a Keto diet has made a change in that. So always looking for recipes to bake or cook. I have baked this twice and love the taste. The first time I just spooned in the Almond flour and the second time I "packed" it down. Both times the bread rose great and collapsed in the middle. It does not slice, but crumbles--still taste GREAT. The second time I did let it cool completely before taking out of the pan.The tooth pick still showed a little moisture.

Any suggestions?

Christine Kerrigan

Saturday 27th of July 2019

What Have I done? I have made the Almond Bara Brith today and I can see I am now going to be making a few more. It was lovely.

Camilla

Saturday 27th of July 2019

I am so glad you are enjoying it, Christine! I know what you mean--make me a pot of tea and I can nibble my way through multiple slices!

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