Gluten Free Bara Brith

This is a version of the lovely traditional Welsh tea bread. It’s a great wholesome loaf that’s firm, moist and packed with fruit. My version here owes much to one by Paul Hollywood. I’ve had the nerve to tweek it, make it GF and – dare I say it – improve it.

Makes: 10 – 12 slices

Time: 10 minutes the night before, then 20 minutes prep on the day, followed by 90 minutes baking plus some cooling time.

Level: Easy

Equipment: A 1kg loaf tin

Credits: Paul Hollywood – the original recipe is in his excellent book “British Baking”


  • 300g/10 oz mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants in any combination)
  • 300ml/10 fl oz hot strong, black tea
  • 50g/1.75 oz soft light brown sugar
  • 250g/9 oz Gluten Free self-raising flour* (Dove’s Farm works well)
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum powder*
  • 50g/1.75 oz ground almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spices
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 apple
  • 2 plums, stone remove and chopped quite small
  • 3 tbsp treacle
  • 2 tbsp milk

* For a non-gluten free version simply change or omit the asterisked items.


1. The night before baking, place the dried fruits in a medium bowl and pour the hot tea over them. Stir well, cover and leave to soak overnight.

2. The following day, heat the oven to 150C/Fan 130C/Gas 2. Grease the tin and line with baking parchment, leaving the two long sides standing above the edge of the tin to lift out the loaf.

3. Put the dry ingredients into a bowl (sugar, flour, xanthan gum powder, ground almonds, cinnamon, spices and salt) Mix well.

4. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat lightly.

5. Peel and core the apple. Cut half into small pieces, grate the rest then add it all into the dried fruit and tea mixture. Also stir in the pieces of plum, followed by the eggs. Mix well.

6. If necessary, transfer all the wet ingredients into a larger bowl so there’s room for mixing. Tip the dry ingredients into the wet, add in the treacle and milk then stir to mix.

7. Tip or spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake for about 90 minutes. Check after 80 and cover the top with foil if it appears to be darkening too much.

8. Check that the loaf is baked by inserting a skewer into the centre. If it comes out dry, it’s ready. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.

I hope you enjoy making (and eating) this lovely classic loaf. If you want more loaf cake recipes click here. Or for cakes in general try this link.

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