Blackberry and Apple Spelt Soda Bread
One of the many highlights of our day at River Cottage last week, was the blackberry and apple spelt soda bread we made along with some beautiful butter. I was so delighted with the bread that I went foraging for blackberries a few days later and made a loaf at home.
We weren’t given the recipe on the day and the dry ingredients had already been weighed out for us, so I had no idea of the quantities used. The recipe that follows is my version. It came out rather differently to the one I made at River Cottage, but it was just as good. I didn’t use any honey in my loaf as I thought the blackberries and apple were sweet enough, but you could always add a spoonful if you like, as we did on the day. As I didn’t make butter this second time around, I had no buttermilk, so I watered down some yoghurt and used that instead. The beauty of making the two together is that you have just the right amount of buttermilk needed to make a loaf. At River Cottage we added cheese to the mix – I opted for hard goat’s cheese; at home I only had cheddar so I used that instead.
On the day, I discovered from fellow blogger Becky at Munchies and Munchkins, that the traditional cross on the top of Irish soda bread is to keep the devil out. The things you learn.
Like all soda breads, this is quick and easy to make. It’s ideal at teatime, spread with butter or, as in our case, for accompanying a bowl of spiced courgette soup. It’s always best eaten on the day of baking, but I found it was almost as good the next day. The fruit helps to keep this spelt soda bread both moist and fresh.
- 150g wholemeal spelt
- 100g plain flour
- 50g jumbo oats
- 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp Cornish sea salt
- 4 sage leaves - finely chopped
- leaves from a couple of thyme sprigs
- 1 small apple including skin (mine was a Cornish cooking variety)
- 50g blackberries
- 50g cheddar cheese - grated
- 150 ml yoghurt mixed with 100ml water or 250ml buttermilk
- 1 tbsp honey (optional)
- Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Gently stir in the fruit, herbs and all but a handful of cheese so they are all coated in flour.
- Make a well in the middle and pour in the yoghurt and honey if using.
- Stir with a flat bladed knife until the mixture comes together.
- Gently shape the dough into a round with your hands and place on a buttered baking tray. The dough is best handled as little as possible.
- Flatten roughly to 4 cm (1 ½") thickness. Dust a little flour over the top to help prevent burning then scatter with the remaining cheese. Cut a cross using a sharp knife and bake at 200℃ for 35 minutes when the bread should sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Other recipes for soda bread you might like
- Cheese and herb wholemeal spelt soda bread – Knead Whine
- Roasted pepper and thyme soda bread – Baking Queen
- Wild garlic pesto pinwheels – Foodie Quine