Friday, August 27, 2010

Walnut Soda Bread

For a really long time this recipe has been one of my baking standards. I make it quite often and keep slices of it in my freezer for lunches. This is not necessarily a traditional Irish soda bread because it is baked in a loaf pan, but what it has in common with the original is a dense texture, a crisp outer crust and the use of buttermilk and baking soda as leavening agents. The batter comes together in minutes thanks to its use of baking soda instead of yeast and it tastes hearty and wholesome because of the wholewheat flour. Raisins and walnuts add moisture and texture to this loaf. I like to serve soda bread with cheese as the hearty texture stands up to strong flavours, but it is also delicious for breakfast with butter and jam.

Walnut Soda Bread

Makes 1 loaf

• 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• ¾ cup chopped walnut halves
• ¼ cup diced dried figs or raisins (optional)
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 2 tsp granulated sugar
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 cups buttermilk


1. Grease 9 x 5 inch loaf pan; set aside.
2. In large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, walnuts, figs/raisins, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
3. Make a well in centre; pour in buttermilk and stir to form sticky ball (you may need to add extra buttermilk). Scrape into prepared pan; pushing dough into corners.
4. With a sharp knife, cut shallow slit lengthwise through centre of loaf. Dust with 1 tbsp more all-purpose flour. Bake in centre of 400 degree F oven until golden and cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 55 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool on rack. (Make-ahead: wrap in plastic wrap and store for up to three days or wrap in heavy duty foil and freeze for up to one month)

Per slice: about 192 cal, 7 g protein, 6 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 29 g carb, 3 g fibre, 3 mg cholesterol, 408 mg sodium. % RDI: 10 % calcium, 12% iron, 1% vit C, 21% folate.

Time: about 1-1/2 hours.

From Canadian Living: Holiday Celebrations 2007

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