Great Harvest Bread
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*Update 11/06/13: Our seasonal Cinnamon Raisin Walnut bread has now changed to Stuffing Bread. Check our new menu today!

Halloween, the scariest night of the year, is coming up and everybody’s getting ready for it! What started as a Gaelic Irish festival approx. 11 centuries ago commemorating the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, is now a trick-or-treat tradition that has kids anxious to dress up and eat candy!

Many rituals have been established around this All Hallows Eve celebration, like pumpkin carving and watching scary movies. One custom practiced during this traditional date, has to do with the Irish Barmbrack bread! A tasty treat that’s more than just a regular baked goodie! 

So, if you’d like to learn more about it, the Great Harvest Bread Company in Hillsboro’s got you covered!

The Barmbrack Irish Bread

Barmbrack is a traditional Irish sweet, yeast bread filled with raisins and sultanas. They prepare it around this time of year and eat it with a bit of butter as an afternoon snack to go with their tea. 

The Halloween Tradition

Still, Barmbrack is more than just a tea side dish. To the Irish (precursors of this festivity), it’s a game that helps participants predict their future! If you want to play, you’ll need 5 items, the ingredients required to make Barmbrack bread and a bit of luck. 

First, the bread is prepared and baked with several objects inside (a ring, a piece of cloth, a coin, a pea, and a stick) during Halloween. The bread is then sliced and served among the attendees. The object each person gets will determine that person’s fate for that year! 

For example, the ring signifies a marriage in the upcoming year, while the cloth means that person will be poor; the coin equals richness; the stick, bad luck in relationships, and the pea symbolizes that the receiver wouldn’t marry that year.

The Great Harvest Version

While we don’t bake Barmbrack bread per se at the Great Harvest Bread Company in Hillsboro, we have a similar and equally delicious bread named Cinnamon Raisin Walnut! We use molasses to sweeten and preserve the bread, which makes it a healthy option to munch on this time of year! You can take a loaf home and even play the game if you want!

As with the Barmbrack bread, you’ll need the 5 objects mentioned earlier (the pea, ring, coin, piece of cloth and stick). All you’ll have to do is slice up the warm and tasty Cinnamon Raisin Walnut bread and place an object under each slice. 

Then, your family or guests can pick the piece of bread they want (you can even have someone switch the plates around so not even you know where each object is placed). Each person will have to uncover the item under their slice and face their fate for the upcoming year!

This way you could start a fun and nutritious tradition among your family and friends! Just remember to keep track to see which predictions come true!

Halloween is a tradition that originated quite a few centuries ago in Celtic countries and it’s connected to one of our favorite subjects: bread! If you’re looking for a loaf of bread in Hillsboro to take part of this fortune-telling game, be sure to come down to the Great Harvest Bread Company and give the Cinnamon Raisin Walnut a try! We have them every Monday this month!
Great Harvest Bread of Hillsboro
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