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Author Notes: I love soda bread for its not-too-sweet taste and chewy texture. I’m not a skilled baker, but soda bread is simple enough and doesn’t require me to shape dough into leaves (or anything of that nature that would immediately throw me into a cold sweat). ☺ The traditional soda bread with raisins or currants is always a favorite, but this time I wanted something slightly sweeter and more seasonal.
For this recipe, I was inspired by Jennifer McGruther’s brown soda bread with currants and flaked oats in The Nourished Kitchen. Instead of the currants and oats, I used Honeycrisp apple bits that I baked with spices and brown sugar. I modified the dough accordingly to accommodate the additional moisture from the apples, and also doctored it up with spices and sugar. McGruther advises letting the dough sit for hours, but I skipped this step because I wanted to eat soda bread for breakfast!
—Danielle at Sweet Home Sauce
Makes 1 loaf
For the dough
- 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sweet, spiced apples
- 2 medium-large Honeycrisp apples
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 splash Water
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, slowly pour the buttermilk into the flour. Mix until a dry and “shaggy” dough forms. Let sit while you work on the apples.
- Peel and chop the apples, and mix with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and a splash of water. Place in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper over the apples and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the apples from the pan and toss in strainer to remove excess liquid. They will retain some liquid…it’s ok. Let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Go back to the dough. Mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda. Once the apples have cooled a bit, add them to the dough mixture. Adding the apples should be the key to giving your dough the right amount of moisture. If not, add a bit more buttermilk.
- Toss some flour onto a counter/chopping block, remove dough from bowl and place in the center. If the dough is too wet to remove cleanly from the bowl, add a bit more flour.
- Turn the dough a couple of times to form into a ball. Use a sharp knife to make an “x” on the top of the ball, going about a quarter inch deep. Brush the top of the dough with a light layer of heavy cream.
- Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees, and bake for approximately 20 more minutes. When the dough has risen completely and is turning light brown on the top, it’s done.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting.
- To serve: swirl a bit of honey into good butter for an extra touch of sweetness, or top with butter and apple butter!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Breakfast Baked Good