TRADITIONAL WELSH FOOD -
BWYD CYMREIG TRADDODIADOL
MODERN WELSH COOKING -
COGINIO CYMREIG CYFOES
ODDI WRTH EIN DARLLENWYR!
FROM NINNAU READERS!
Fast approaching my two-year stint as Food Editor of Ninnau, I would like to thank all those readers who have written to me. All have been very positive and most encouraging! Here is a selection of some letters/emails received! The readers' recipes are located at the end of the letters.
Mona Mason of Cherry Creek, NY emailed inquiring about Welsh Roast Beef that she had had on a trip to Wales. She would like to reproduce the recipe here. Presently, we are resolving some of the details. However, we do know Mona loves to make Welsh Pan Cakes and emailed a super recipe. Mona is also a big fan of portage (pottage) or oatmeal for breakfast – she uses her Welsh grandmother’s recipe. Both recipes are posted on my website.
Ginny Jones of Pasadena, California emailed after reading the article on Caerphilly Scones, "My husband is Welsh and has had a yearning for Caerphilly Cheese for a long time. Could you please tell me where to purchase it? I am in N.E. Penna at present, so a location in Pasadena or N.E. Penna would be appropriate." Readers, do you have some reliable retail store locations to recommend?
Shirley Williams of New Hartford, NY earlier this year penned, "My uncle ran a bakery in Caernarfon and when my parents visited there some years ago they brought back Eccles Cakes, which I loved. Have you heard of them?"
Yes! The cakes originated in Eccles, Lancashire and were made in North Wales to satisfy the taste buds of the large numbers of English families who spent summer vacations in North Wales. Many UK cookbooks have recipes for these little cinnamon orange-flavored currant filled puff pastry pies. They would be similar to a Welsh Cake but made from puff pastry with a currant filled center – a natural for a Welsh baker! We look forward to hearing from Shirley once she has baked and satiated her yearning for Eccles Cakes.
Daniel Whitaker of Sequim, Washington State wrote in inquiring about recipes for the items on the St David’s Day Dinner last year. The recipes are now available in booklet form with colored pictures of the plated dishes – please visit WelshFoodie website!
Daniel told me his favorite Welsh food treat is Bara Brith. Daniel sent in a Bara Brith recipe he uses most often while commenting it came from a postcard mailed to him by a friend touring Wales. Curiously, I found exactly the same postcard; it had been a bookmark in one of my used Welsh cookbook purchases that was published in 1959.
David Williams of Chardon, Ohio also has a good recipe for Bara Brith. David’s wife, Janet told me he has done a lot of very serious research (and eating!) while seeking the Holy Grail of the perfect Bara Brith. I can say for sure that David’s Bara Brith is an annual big hit at each St David’s Dinner in Niles, Ohio. Both Daniel’s and David’s recipes are posted on my website as are several other interesting Bara Brith recipes.
Also, I did hear from a gentleman in Kansas asking if I had a good but easy recipe for making Bara Brith in a bread machine. I do not. I once tried adding the raisins after the second raising in a food mixer when disastrous results. I like to plump my raisins in rum/tea mixture overnight; well-plumped raisins and the mixer experiment ended up as a mush. Readers! Any recipes for a bread machine Bara Brith?
Lesley Gover of Greenwich, Connecticut, born in Llanelli and in the States a relatively short time, asks, "Does everyone know of a Welsh restaurant or any place that serves Welsh food in NYC or the greater New York area?"
Lastly, I am frequently asked about Welsh Cookbooks. I do have several Welsh and UK Cookbooks available - they are listed on our Cookbooks Page!
Please keep the emails and letters coming –I enjoy reading them, I am glad to help and they are certainly appreciated!
BARA BRITH - SPECKLED BREAD
DAVID WILLIAMS’ BARA BRITH
3 cups flour, unbleached all-purpose
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
3/4 cup currants
2/3 cup sultanas, golden (golden raisins)
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup candied peel
4 oz (1 stick) margarine
1 cup milk
Heat oven to 325ºF. Mix the flour, sugar, and yeast together. Put the fruits in a separate bowl and add a little of the dry ingredient mixture to break apart and coat the fruit so it won't stick together. Melt the butter over very low heat. Add the melted butter (near body temperature) and the egg to the dry ingredients and mix. The dough will be very stiff. Add the milk a little at a time to soften. Add the fruit. Mix well. Put into a Pam coated bread pan and bake for about an hour
Daniel L. Whitaker’s Bara Brith
1/4 tsp lemon peel
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp clove
Cream the yeast with some of the milk and add it to the flour and salt. Add the rest of the milk to the flour and work it into a dough. Let the dough rise for one hour covered.
Put the sugars (brown and gingered), raisins, currants, lemon peel, cinnamon, allspice, mace and clove together in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add to the dough and mix thoroughly. Place in a buttered loaf tin and let rise. (45 minutes)
Bake at 425 degrees for 20-35 minutes. Glaze with sugar syrup when cool.
Best eaten in thin slices with butter and cold milk.
Bara Brith – Cake Recipe
Evans Davies – Former Home Sciences Teacher, Rhydhir School, Neath,
Jill says, "The original recipe called for
yeast - this one works just as well for me!"
sugar - pref. brown
lemon, juice of
1 large tbsp
1/4 tsp mixed
milk to mix
Heat oven to 350ºF. Sieve flour, salt and baking
Rub in fat.
Add rest of dry
ingredients, including grated lemon rind.
Add lemon juice and
Add sufficient milk to make
a soft dough consistency.
Put mixture into a well
greased bread tin. Place in oven and bake approx. 1 3/4 hours.
Can be served as cake or
sliced and buttered as a tea bread (as I like it )
Note: Not everyone likes
the caraway seeds.
Ken Thorne can be contacted at WelshFoodie@aol.com. His address is 8814 Norwood Drive, Mentor, OH 44060. Phone – 440 255-2214. Website: www.WelshFoodie.com
Copyright © 2002/2003 by Ken Thorne.