Wednesday , July 15 2020

HEARTh & HOME – Irish Teatime Breads

Irish Teatime Breads

What is the most popular drink in Ireland? Is it that well-known dry stout? Is it whiskey? It’s Assam black tea. The Irish consumed 4.83 pounds per capita of tea in 2016; that’s second in the world after the Turks. Irish tea is generally brewed strong, served with milk and enjoyed with a variety of breads, cakes, and other baked goods. This month, we have two teatime favorites, soda bread and barmbrack. Our soda bread recipe is a vegan take on the Irish classic with a gluten-free option, while our variation on barmbrack features dates and goji berries along with Indian chai spices.

Vegan Soda Bread

Prep Time 15 minutes
Wait Time 10 minutes
Bake Time 35 minutes
Makes one round loaf

3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour (or cup-for-cup gluten-free bread blend, such as Pamela’s)

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups coconut milk beverage

1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Very lightly grease and flour a cookie sheet. Stir together all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together coconut milk beverage and apple cider vinegar; let sit for ten minutes. Then mix the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar “buttermilk” a little at a time into the dry ingredients to form clumps. Mix with a dough hook or knead with hands for about one minute, until blended. Form into a ball and flatten into a six-inch diameter by two-inch high round. Pat it with flour. Place it on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 32–35 minutes, until it sounds hollow when tapped. Cool the bread completely on a rack. Serve with butter, cheddar or your favorite nut spread.

Chai Spiced Barmbrack

Prep Time 10 minutes
Wait Time 3 hours
Bake Time 60–70 minutes
Makes one loaf

1 cup chopped dried dates

½ cup dried goji berries

6 ounces (¾ cup) brewed black tea, cooled to room temperature

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup quick oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chai spice blend*

1 tablespoon quick oats

2 tablespoons turbinado sugar


In a bowl, mix dried fruits and cooled tea. Let the fruit soak up the tea; this takes about three hours.



Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease and flour a standard 9×5-inch loaf pan. Add beaten egg to the soaked fruit. Blend flour, one-quarter cup of oats, baking powder and salt together. Then add the dry ingredients to the soaked fruit and egg mixture and mix well. The dough will be wet. Spoon into prepared loaf pan. In a small bowl, stir together the tablespoon of oats, the turbinado sugar and the chai spices. Sprinkle the topping on the dough, lightly pat down the loaf to make it even. Bake for 60–70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on rack. Serve with butter, mascarpone cheese, jam or your favorite spread.


*Chai Spice Blend

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon allspice

⅛ teaspoon white pepper

Mix spices together in a bowl. Store in sealed container.


As always, I invite you to share your pictures and tips with all of us through social media. From my Hearth & Home to yours, keep making kitchen magic!


Tea Facts


Janae Jean serves as editor, social media manager and podcast co-host for Conscious Community Magazine. She enjoys improvising in the kitchen and creating recipes with her loved ones and is very grateful for their input and assistance.

Photo: Janae J. Almen

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