Mar 17, 2009

Irish Soda Bread with Dried Cherries

Bread is fun to make and it's even more fun to eat. I don't eat bread all that often, but when I do I try to choose whole wheat or whole grain.

Last night I had Irish Soda Bread on my mind. Must be my (very small amount of ) Irish genes were coming to the surface on this St. Patricks Day. This recipe uses whole wheat flour that is soaked overnight and it is also sugar free. Although I did sprinkle a small amount of sugar on the top of each loaf before baking (but this step could be omitted).

As I sometimes do with recipes, I substituted a few of the ingredients and used dried cherries and nuts instead of raisins, and my version is not dairy free. This makes a very untraditional version of Irish Soda Bread but we like cherries and nuts. Any type of dried fruit or nut would work just as well.

Irish Soda Bread with Dried Cherries

4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk (this was leftover from making butter)
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup nuts, coarsely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp caraway seeds, sprinkle on top (optional)
1-1 1/2 tsp organic cane sugar, sprinkle on top (optional)

The day before baking , add cider to the milks and let set for about 5 minutes. In large bowl, mix the flour, and oil together with a pastry cutter until flour is crumbly and pea size. Add the oats and milk/cider combination. Cover well and leave on the counter overnight.

The next day - preheat oven to 350 . In a small bowl combine the cherries, nuts, salt, and baking soda.

Place dough on board and press out fairly flat.

Pour cherry/nut mixture on top

Fold dough in half over top of cherry mixture. Press flat

Continue folding and pressing until fruits and nuts are mixed in.

Round the dough into a ball and cut ball in half

Form each ball into a 2 1/2 inch thick round.

Cut an X on top

Place rounds on parchment paper lined cookie sheet

Press caraway seeds on top and sprinkle with sugar, if using.

Bake for 45 - 50 minutes. Cool on cooling racks. Cut into wedges.