Irish Fruit Soda Bread

18 Mar

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Seeing as it is St Patricks weekend, I thought it would be fitting to give you guys a real Irish recipe. This is such a traditional recipe, apart form the added egg which creates a richer bread. It is so easy to put together, I know I say this about a lot of breads but this can literally be put together in under 10mins. There is no rising time as it is not a yeast bread and it only takes 45mins to cook. Apart from the ridiculously simple method, it makes such an amazing bread that is crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. It is the best while still warm and slathered with jam. Pure heaven.

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Irish Fruit Soda Bread (Makes 1 x 1lb loaf)

450g plain flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1tsp salt

1tbsp caster sugar

150g sultanas

1 egg

400ml buttermilk

flaked almonds, to sprinkle on top, optional

  • Preheat the oven to 230ºc/425ºf and lightly grease a baking tray or a 1lb loaf tin.
  • Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. Mix in the sultanas and make a well in the center.
  • Beat the egg and buttermilk together in a jug and pour most of it into the well.
  • Use your hand to bring the wet and dry together, until it is just forming a dough. Don’t over work it or it will become tough.
  • Tip it out onto a flour surface and shape into a circle briefly or tip into the loaf tin.
  • Sprinkle with almonds if using and bake in the oven for 15mins.
  • Turn the oven down to 180ºc/350ºf and leave the oven door ajar until the temperature is right then bake for a further 30mins. You can turn the loaf upside down for the last 5mins if you want the bottom to brown but it’s not necessary.
  • Let cool on a wire rack for about 30mins then tuck in.

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Variations:

Sweet: Take out the sultanas and add chocolate chips, cranberries, orange zest or any other ideas.

Savory: Take out the sultanas and add herbs such as oregano, thyme and rosemary or add bacon, sun dried tomatoes or cheese such as cheddar or parmesan.

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