Hallowe’en Barm Brack
450 g of strong white flour
½ level teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 level teaspoon of mixed spice
25g of Dairymaid Premium Spread
20g of fresh yeast
75g of sugar
300ml of tepid Avonmore milk
225g of sultanas
110g of currants
300ml of strong breakfast tea (use two teabags)
Ring, stick (toothpick), dried pea, piece of cloth, wrapped in greaseproof paper.
Two 12.5 x 20cm (5 x 8in) loaf tins
Soak the dried fruit overnight in strong breakfast tea (and a drop of whiskey if you like).
Sieve the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter. Mix the yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of tepid milk and leave for 4–5 minutes, until it becomes creamy and slightly bubbly. Add the caster sugar to the flour mixture and mix well. Pour the tepid milk and the egg into the yeast mixture, then add to the flour.
Knead well either by hand or in an electric mixer at high speed for 5 minutes. The dough should be stiff but elastic. Fold in the dried fruit and peel, cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
Knock back again for 2–3 minutes. Grease the loaf tins and divide the dough between them.
Add the ring, stick, pea and piece of cloth, tucking them well in and ensure they are hidden by the dough. Cover again and leave to rise for about 30–45 minutes until well puffed up.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Bake for about one hour or until golden and fully cooked.
Glaze the top with bun wash, put back into the oven for about 2 or 3 minutes. Turn out to cool on a wire tray. When cool serve cut into thick slices with butter.
Put 150ml (¼ pint) water and 110g (¼ lb) sugar into a pan and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven to give them a sweet, sticky glaze.