Fruit Soda Bread is one of my husband’s favourite treats. It is based on a traditional Irish soda bread which uses bread soda instead of yeast to rise the bread. Irish flour is typically low in protein and thus more suited to soda bread as yeast bread needs a higher protein content.
Fruit soda bread usually has an egg as well as buttermilk and raisins or other dried fruits added.
Don’t add all of the buttermilk at once as you want to make sure to get the right consistency and can add more as needed. Use a knife to gently bring the dry ingredients together with the buttermilk. Once it has come together then turn the dough onto a floured board and kneed it gently just to the point it is smooth. This is very different from yeast bread and is something people do wrong when making soda bread for the first time.
It is delicious served straight out of the oven with butter spread on top and a cup of tea or coffee.
Fruit Soda Bread
- 450 g plain white flour
- 1-2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp bread soda
- 100 g raisins
- 300 ml buttermilk
- 1 egg
- Preheat your oven to 200ºC/390ºF/Gas Mark 6.
- Sieve the dry ingredients, add the fruit and mix well.
- Make a well in the centre and pour most of the milk in at once with the egg. Using one hand, mix in the flour from the sides of the bowl, adding more milk if necessary. The dough should be soft, not too wet and sticky.
- When it all comes together, turn it out on to a floured board and knead it lightly for a few seconds, just enough to tidy it up. Pat the dough into a round about 4cm (1 1/2 inch) deep and cut a deep cross on it.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. If you are in doubt, tap the bottom: if it is cooked, it will sound hollow. I usually cover my bread with tin foil around 15 minutes in to prevent the crust getting over baked.
- Serve it freshly baked, cut into thick slices and generously slathered with butter.
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