This Hot Crossed Soda Bread is an amazingly adaptable and quick recipe to use up your leftover Easter Treats . You can use up to 150g of any mix of chocolate and sweets with up to 180g of more nutritionally dense nuts and dried fruit. Use freshly opened ground spices with stoneground flour for a wholesome base bread then let your imagination go wild with the additions of choc, fruit and nuts.
450 g (1 lb) Ballymore Organics Stoneground Plain Flour
4g (1 tsp) Bicarbonate of Soda
3g (1 tsp) Achill Island Smoked Sea Salt
12g (1 tbsp) Caster Sugar
100g (3.5 oz) leftover easter eggs, keep in big shards
40g (1.5 oz) Cadbury Mini Eggs
30g (1oz) lightly toasted almonds
30g (1oz) dried cranberries
30g (1oz) Crystalised ginger
40g (1.5 oz) No-soak dried Prunes
40g (1.5 oz) No-soak dried apricots
4g (1tsp) ground cinnamon
4g (1tsp) Green Saffron Mixed Spice
1 Organic Irish large egg, lightly beaten
350ml (1.5 cups) Mossfield Organic Buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 230 C
Dry whisk the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Mixing with a metal whisk will aerate the ingredients and remove any lumps without the bother of a sieve.
Roughly chop the fruit and nuts you are using into about 2 cm pieces drop into the flour bowl. Toss around in the bowl until the pieces are coated in flour, this will help the fruit and nut pieces be evenly distributed in bread and make sure they do not stick together.
Add in chocolate, spices and mini eggs to the bowl. Toss around again. Keep the pieces of easter egg quite big so that you get a nice stripe of chocolate in your soda bread slices. Use the best quality spices you can as they really add flavour impact. Only use ground spices that have been open less than 6 months.
Mix the egg and buttermilk together in a separate bowl.
Pour in most of the liquid at once, keeping back a tbsp in the bowl. It is always easier to add in a bit more liquid if the dough is a bit stiff or dry than trying to fix a too wet mix. Using one hand, with your fingers stiff and outstretched like a claw, flip over the flour into liquid in a full circular movement from the outside to the inside of the bowl in ever decreasing circles. The dough should be softish, not too wet and sticky, make sure there are no pockets of flour at the bottom of the bowl. When it all comes together, turn it out onto a non-stick baking tray. Wash and dry your hands. Pat the dough into a round, about 5cm deep, score the bread to create a cross. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 200C and cook for 25 minutes more. The finished bread will look golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the tray and wrap up in a clean tea towel to cool.
Full Method for WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM on Clare Anne’s Instagram Highlights Clare Anne O'Keefe (@clareanneok) • Instagram photos and videos