Soda bread is remarkably quick and easy to make. There is no yeast involved, no proving or kneading, you just mix everything together, shape it and bake it. All the rising comes from the reaction of the baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and buttermilk. And Fruit Soda Bread is a nice, slightly sweet, alternative to plain soda bread. Perfect for an afternoon snack. Or anytime.
Fruit Soda Bread is a firm favorite in the Traybakes’ household. While it is best eaten on the day you bake it, (especially with a generous slathering of butter) it’s also good toasted. That’s if you have any left after a day or two.
The trick with soda bread is to work lightly and quickly. And for minimal effort, you end up with a loaf that is ready to bake by the time your oven has preheated. I’ve given a range for the amount of buttermilk needed, as I sometimes need more and sometimes need less. I think the amount you need varies depending on the way the wind is blowing or the day of the week. Or perhaps it’s something to do with your flour or elevations or something more technical. But whatever the reason, it’s best to err on the side of caution at first. Then you can choose to add more buttermilk, rather than having a wet dough and having to add more flour.
The wholewheat version, more commonly known as Wheaten Bread from where I come from, is equally delicious and my recipe can be found here.
Fruit Soda Bread
- 1 lb or 450g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 6 oz or 175g mixed, dried fruit
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey/golden syrup)
- 10-11 fl oz or 300-350ml buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl.
- Add the fruit and sugar and mix together.
- In a separate bowl or measuring jug, mix the egg, syrup and about ¾ of the buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients and combine until you have a soft, but not sticky dough, adding more buttermilk, if needed.
- Turn onto a floured work surface and bring together into a round.
- Transfer to a lined baking sheet and cut two deep slashes on the top, horizontally and vertically.
- Bake at 400F/200C for about 30 minutes or until golden on top and hollow-sounding when you tap the base.
- Cool on a wire rack. Slice, butter and enjoy!