<p>Diced Prunes soaked in tea adds a new flavor dimension to classic Irish-American soda bread. The tannins in the tea draw out the molasses flavor in the prunes. Serve this bread with jam and butter or Cheddar and honey.</p>
<p>Diced Prunes soaked in tea adds a new flavor dimension to classic Irish-American soda bread. The tannins in the tea draw out the molasses flavor in the prunes. Serve this bread with jam and butter or Cheddar and honey.</p>
Ingredients

    215 g / 1 cup black tea, brewed strong and cooled

    135 g / 1 cup Diced Dried Plums

    470 g / 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    95 g / 1/2 cup sugar

    15 g /1/3 cup unprocessed wheat bran

    8 g / 2 teaspoons baking powder

    4 g / 1 teaspoon baking soda

    4 g / 1 teaspoon kosher salt

    57 g / 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

    240 g / 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

    1 large egg

    30 g / 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted (optional)

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Instructions

    Pour the tea over the prunes and soak for 15 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain well.

    Preheat an oven to 350F [180C]. Oil a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using your hands, blend the unsalted butter into the flour until it forms a crumbly mixture.

    In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg together. Gradually stir the buttermilk into the flour and butter and mix just until a tacky dough forms. Gently fold the prunes into the dough.

    Turn the dough onto a well-floured counter and knead until it is no longer sticky. Cut in half and pat each half into a round. Put the rounds on opposite ends of the prepared baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut an X on the top of each round.

    Bake until the tops are golden brown, about 35 minutes for the smaller rounds and 50 minutes for  a large round. Transfer to a cooling rack. While the bread is cooling, brush salted butter on top.

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