Whiskey Teabread – Irish Traditional Food by Theodora FitzGibbon

It used to be that every halfway decent cook in Ireland had their own closely guarded teabread recipe. Mine comes from Irish Traditional Food by Theodora FitzGibbon and is a failsafe recipe I come back to again and again (sadly this book is out of print, if you’re interested in traditional Irish food you should try and track down a copy). The teabread is really simple to make. This quantity makes 3 loaves, you can scale down but since it keeps three always seems a a good amount (I often give away the third to a friend or neighbour). Whenever I’m going to see my Aunty Josie I know I need to make sure I have a loaf of teabread with me.

This should be served sliced and spread with butter, ideally with a cup of tea but also works well in lunch boxes.

Ingredients

  • 450g (1lb) Sultanas
  • 450g (1lb) raisins
  • 450g (1lb) soft brown sugar
  • 3 cups (1/2 litre) milkless tea & whiskey mixed (I usually replace about 150ml of the tea with whiskey so 350ml tea, 150 ml whiskey but you could do anything up to half and half) *
  • 450g (1lb) plain (soft baking) flour
  • 3 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 level teaspoons mixed spice
  • 3 beaten free range eggs

*Adding the whiskey helps the teabread to keep better and subtely improves the flavour

Instructions

  1. Soak the fruit and sugar in the tea (& Whiskey) overnight. If pushed for time can soak fruit/sugar in the morning and bake in the evening.
  2. Cover bowl with teatowel.
  3. Sift plain flour with baking powder and mixed spice
  4. Add flour and beaten eggs alternately to the fruit and tea mixture
  5. Turn into 3 greased & lined loaf tins and bake for 1 1/4 hrs at 160 degrees C.
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