Six years ago we traveled to Ireland.  While we were there, I had the opportunity to take a cooking class with Catherine Fulvio at her bed and breakfast/farm/studio just outside of Dublin.  She took us on a tour and we ended up in her studio/kitchen where she films her shows for a lesson in Irish Soda Bread.  The typical Irish Soda is bland but distinctively tasty.  Soda bread is a quick bread leavened with baking soda, hence the name, rather than yeast. Some sodaโ€™s breads have caraway seeds, raisins or nuts.   What I learned from Catherine is that most Irish cooks and housewives have their own version of Soda Bread based on their likes & preferences, however, the common denominator is baking soda & salt.   Well, hereโ€™s my version with some of my favorite flavors, orange, apricot & cranberry and my favorite nuts, walnuts.  Either give mine a try or use it as a base to make your own, your own unique way...Itโ€™s a Great Day ๐ŸŠ 

Ingredients out (and measured) makes preparation easy and quick.


Recipe

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Ingredients

-4 cups unbleached flour

-2 teaspoons baking soda

-1 teaspoon kosher salt

-1 1/2 cup milk (divided 1 1/2 cup  & 1/4 cup)

-1 cup plain Greek yogurt

-1/2 cup dried apricots chopped

-1/4 cup unsweetened cranberries

-zest and juice of 3 Clementines (juice & zest 1, set aside juice then juice & zest the other two)

-1/2 cup walnuts chopped

-Liquid to brush on top before baking (as mentioned in the ingredients, the 1/4 cup of milk blend with the juice and zest of 1 Clementine.  Set aside) 

๐ŸŠThe method to making Clementine Apricot Soda Bread i images ๐ŸŠ

Method

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle generously with extra unbleached flour.
  2. Sift the unbleached flour, Kosher salt and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.  Zest two of the Clementines into the flour mixture & blend.  Make a well/hole in the middle.
  3. Juice two Clementines and pour over dried apricots and cranberries.  Let stand to plump until ready to pour into mixture.
  4. Whisk together the Greek yogurt & milk and then pour into well/hole in the flour mixture.  Blend with a fork until liquid is incorporated.  The dough should be completely damp.  Now pour in the juice and dried fruit.  Once blended, add in the walnuts.  
  5. Turn onto the floured parchment lined baking sheet and shape in to a somewhat smooth round.  Flour a large knife and score the bread, making a cross, to Bless the bread. 
  6. Now brush the scored round with the liquid  mixture.  You may not need it all.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven.  I check after 35 minutes, and then set for an additional 5 if necessary, check and decided if an additional 5 is needed.  Bread is done when either bread sounds hollow when you tap with your knuckle or a tooth pick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.  Remove baking sheet from oven and place pan on a rack for about 7 minutes.  Remove bread from pan and place onto a wire rack.  I like bread warm, not hot, served with I unsalted butter along with apricot jam or orange   marmalade & a good cup of tea...Enjoy ๐ŸŠ
Author, Mary Yana Burau