We have $163,080 to go in our Fall Campaign. Every penny is used to strengthen the Church. See details!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Recipe: Barinbreac


  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1-1/2 pounds flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons currants
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
  • sugar
  • buttermilk
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: Ireland

Also Called: Barmbrack, Barnbreak, Barm Brack

The first feast in February is that of Saint Bridget, known lovingly in her own land as "Mary of the Gael." According to the scholars the name is rightly Brigit, but the common spelling is Bridget, and hers is the name borne by more girls in Ireland than any save one, that of Mary. In many legends she is associated with Saint Patrick, who is said to have baptized her and who had her help in converting Ireland; when he died it was she who stitched his shroud. Born about 450, she founded the nunnery of Kildare, the first on Irish soil.

Bridget is well known not only in Irish households but also in English, for she was a favorite saint in the Britain of an early day. In London an ancient well, named Saint Bride's Well in her honor, lent its name to the nearby Brideswell Palace which Edward VI turned into a workhouse for the poor in later years.

On her feast special cakes were served with ale, called Barinbreac, and sometimes Barmbrack or Barnbreak.


Rub the butter into the flour which has been sifted with the soda. Add the currants and the caraway seeds and a very little sugar. Add sufficient buttermilk to make a wet dough — one that will drop into the pan. Bake at 300° F. for two hours.

Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951
Fall Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Gay Vatican official who 'came out' may influence Synod in a way he didn't expect--or want 16 hours ago
Another serial killer? Blame 'religious rage.' 18 hours ago
At Synod's opening session, evidence of a different dynamic 20 hours ago
Preparing for the Synod on the Family October 2
Making sense of the Pope's message to America–including the Kim Davis meeting October 2

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope issues new rules to streamline annulment process CWN - September 8
In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations CWN - September 21
Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress CWN - September 24
As Synod opens, Pope calls on Church to defend ‘unity and indissolubility’ of marriage bond CWN - October 5