Spotted Dog (Fruit Soda Bread)

This is one of my favourite things to make and eat. Perfect for breakfast toasted or just simply with some butter or jam as a snack, it is simple and delicious. It’s a variation on the tradition Irish Soda Bread which is just about one of my favourite things to eat.

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What you need:

  • 450g plain flour (can be gluten free if you prefer)
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of golden caster sugar
  • 140g mixed, dried fruit (Here I used cranberries, raisins and sultanas)
  • Around 400ml of buttermilk (it varies from loaf to loaf)

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
  2. Add the flour, bicarb, salt and sugar to a bowl and mix well (if you don’t the soda can react and leave weird green patches in your bread – they’re fine to eat – just look a bit funny)
  3. Rub the butter into the flour.
  4. Mix in the fruit
  5. Add the buttermilk bit by bit and mix with your hand. Your hand should be in a claw shape to bring the dough together. When enough buttermilk has been added the bread should be firm but soft and definitely not sticky. If you find it has gone a bit sticky, chuck a bit more flour in.
  6. Flour a baking tray and shape the loaf into the centre of it.
  7. You then need to draw a long, deep cross into the loaf (to around half way through).
  8. Bake for 20 mins at 220degrees, before reducing the oven temp to around 200 and baking for another 20-25 mins
  9. When it’s done, the loaf should sound hollow if you turn it over.
  10. Leave to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
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