Recipe: Gluten-Free Irish Barm Brack Bread

Gluten Free Works Author Teri Gruss  


Gluten free Irish Barm Brack Bread

Gluten-Free Irish Barm Brack. © 2010 Teri Lee Gruss

According to Elaine Lemm, Guide to British and Irish Food, “Brack is one of Ireland’s most famous bakery products.” 

Gluten-Free Irish Barm Brack is adapted to gluten-free diets from a recipe by Bernard Clayton, Jr., “Barm Brack” which appears in Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads.

This recipe is laced with fragrant fresh lemon peel, plump raisins and chopped candied ginger. Barm brack is a yeast bread, unlike more common Irish breads which are leavened only with baking soda.

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 65 minutes


  • 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum OR xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar (plus 1 teaspoon sugar dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water to brush on loaf)
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 large room temperature egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger OR mixed candied fruit

Cook’s Note:

  • I used a homemade gluten-free flour blend for this recipe – Living Without Magazine “High Fiber Blend.” Feel free to substitute your favorite all purpose gluten-free flour blend in this recipe.
  • Loaf pictured was baked in a well-greased 8-inch deep dish pie plate.


Preheat oven to 200° F / 93° C. Place a shallow baking dish with 1/2-inch hot water in oven. Turn off oven. This creates a good environment for the bread to quickly rise.

Grease a small 8×4-inch loaf pan OR a 8-inch deep dish pie plate (for a round loaf.)

Combine flour, guar gum, salt and ginger in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Pour water and milk into a small saucepan. Add butter and sugar and warm over low heat just until the butter starts to melt. Remove from heat, stir and cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over the liquid mixture and allow to soften for 5 minutes.

Gradually pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, add the egg and cider vinegar and beat with an electric mixer or a stand mixer on medium speed. Increase mixer speed and beat on high for 2 minutes.

Add grated lemon peel, raisins and chopped candied ginger and beat just until combined.  Use a spatula to pour the thick, shaggy batter into prepared pan. Place uncovered in warmed oven (with heat off.) Allow to rise until double in size, about 40 minutes. Remove the bread from oven and turn oven temperature to 375° F / 190° C. When oven reaches this temperature place bread back in oven. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown. For even baking, turn the loaf pan after 15 minutes and cover the loaf with foil to prepare the top from over-browning.

Remove from oven and brush with sugar dissolved in warm water. Serve warm with butter.Yield- 1 loaf

Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.

Author Information: Teri Gruss, MS Guide to Gluten-Free Cooking
Teri was diagnosed with gluten intolerance after decades of symptoms that culminated in malabsorption syndrome. Teri has written numerous health and nutrition articles for the popular website and was a founding member and moderator of, a nutrition forum for healthcare professionals and students. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and supports the non-profit organization Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of North America as a member.
Email Teri Gruss, MS here. 

About Teri Gruss, MS

Teri Gruss, MS

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