It just hit me yesterday that St. Patrick’s Day is on Tuesday. Every year I make a version of Irish soda bread in celebration of our Irish roots. Soda bread is like a giant scone to me and I love it with my morning tea. We had some homemade maple-blood orange-cara cara orange-meyer lemon (that’s a mouthful) marmalade and homemade soy labneh in the fridge to top the soda bread with this morning. Labneh is so useful! Here it replaces clotted cream and is so good dolloped over the sweet marmalade and crumbly soda bread.
Since I’ve cut back on gluten and processed wheat I decided to dip my toes back into baking by using ancient grains like spelt and einkorn, both of which are heirloom wheat grains. These heirloom varieties have not been manipulated over the centuries to increase their gluten like commercial wheat has been. They still contain gluten but their internal makeup is the same as that of the wheat our ancestors ate way back when.
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Spelt Soda Bread
Yield 2 6-8" loaves
This spelt version is a bit more dense than last years version, which was made with a mixture of white and whole wheat flour. The coconut "buttermilk" ups the richness factor and makes up for the slightly more dense texture. I suggest using coconut milk no matter which flours you end up choosing for your loaves.
Again this year, these loaves are studded with dried currants and caraway seeds, a classic combo I will not alter, ever. Somethings just shouldn't be changed.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups spelt flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- pinch of sea salt (optional)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup unprocessed wheat bran
- 1/4 cup caraway seeds
- 1 cup dried currants
- Preheat oven to 350˚F with rack in middle.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Stir coconut milk and vinegar together, and let stand until thickened, about 5 min.
- Whisk together spelt flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl. Cut in olive oil using your hands until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add bran, caraway seeds and currants and stir to distribute.
- Pour thickened coconut milk mixture into flour mixture and stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Divide dough in half. Turn half of dough onto lightly floured surface. Pat and press the dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Dust loaves with flour and transfer to prepared sheet. Cut an X into the top of each loaf. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until they are golden brown, about 1 hour. Tester should come out clean. Enjoy!
Soda bread is best eaten the day its made, especially warm from the oven. I served it with maple citrus marmalade and homemade soy labneh. It was delicious!
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