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.
- 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
- 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.
- Cover bowl with teatowel.
- Sift plain flour with baking powder and mixed spice
- Add flour and beaten eggs alternately to the fruit and tea mixture
- Turn into 3 greased & lined loaf tins and bake for 1 1/4 hrs at 160 degrees C.