Sydney Rea - Mar 14, 2018

Quick and Easy Irish Soda Bread

Being half Irish (Mom's side), St. Paddy's Day has always been something we celebrated growing up. We take full advantage of our ethnicity during this holiday to throw a party - complete with an Irish Rovers playlist, obnoxiously loud singing, flowing pitchers of green beer and River Dance playing on the TV in the background.

What's always on the table during our party? Irish soda bread - It's Brenda's specialty! Fresh out of the oven, it's still warm as we slice it up and spread butter on top. She makes multiple loaves at a time because they don't last long around the house. 

This recipe was inspired by our family's Italian-Irish heritage. We used dates, fennel, walnuts and of course, olive oil to make this special soda bread. The rum soaked dates add a sweet, chewy element, the walnuts add crunchiness and the fennel gives it a subtle touch of anise. 

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and it becomes a tradition with your family, too!

Date & Fennel Irish Soda Bread

Time: 1 hr 20 min. 

What You'll Need

3/4 cup dates, slices and pitted (about 8 dates)
1/4 cup dark rum
1 1/4 cup white flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small egg
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

The Method

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Place the sliced and pitted dates into a small saucepan. Add the rum and heat on low. Once the rum is warm, turn off the heat. You can let this sit as you prepare the other ingredients. 

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: white flour, whole wheat flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and fennel seeds. 

In a small bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: buttermilk, olive oil, and egg. Create a well in the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the dates and walnuts and mix so that they are evenly spread into the dough.

Place on a well-floured surface and knead into a small oval ball. Place on a cast iron pan. If you want, you can cut an X into the bread. 

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Enjoy it immediately - fresh out of the oven! 

Will you try this easy Irish soda bread recipe? 
Let us know in the comments below!

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