irish Fruit Soda Bread

The second of my recipes for Irish Soda Bread is this quick homemade fruit soda bread. The mixture can be used to make soda scones as well. Different recipes use ordinary milk or buttermilk. I actually use ordinary milk with a squeeze of lemon juice that I leave for a while to become butter milk. In olden days Irish mothers used what they had and I’m the same. One thing that does make a difference is, brushing the dough with the milk before it goes in the oven and sprinkling with caster sugar. My mother made it like this and its the best in my opinion. Giving a lovely golden crust and a little sweetness. Also a lot of traditional Irish recipes don’t specify the amount of milk. Even those that do, don’t use it all as you have to put in a bit at a time. You don’t want it too try or too wet. You should be able to shape the dough either into a loaf tin or a round. If you’re thinking of having a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. This is the perfect thing to make. Warm freshly baked bread in under and hour. What’s not to love?

Ingredients:

  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 25g caster sugar (white or brown)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 25-30g sultanas
  • 400ml milk or buttermilk
  • 900g loaf tin if you prefer the tin option.
Ingredients for Fruit Soda Bread. flour, sultanas, buttermilk, bicarbonate of soda and caster sugar.

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190˚C/375F/gas mark 5.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. make a well in the middle.
  • Slowly add the milk a little at a time and gather into a soft dough. Shape in into a round if not using a tin and place on a baking sheet.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut a cross along the top of the dough. Then brush with the buttermilk and sprinkle with caster sugar.
  • If using a loaf tin. Place the dough in a lined loaf tin and brush with the milk , sprinkle with the sugar. No knife cuts in a tin!
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 190˚C on the middle shelf. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 170˚C for 25 minutes or until the bread is golden in colour and hollow to tap on the bottom.
  • Ideally serve warm with real butter and jam. Even freshly whipped cream.

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