Friday, August 09, 2013

Soda Bread with Blueberries

One of my treasured recipes is for Aunt May's Irish Soda Bread. It's in my book (Classic Comfort Food) and I throw it together for tea when I have the time and some buttermilk in the fridge.

Recently I ordered some more Irish Wholemeal Flour from King Arthur Flour. It is the perfect flour to use for this recipe, although I only use half wholemeal and half regular all-purpose flour. Today I also had some fat, ripe, deeply blue blueberries on hand. Never tried fresh blueberries in the soda bread before, but I'm glad I did. The soda bread is just firm enough a batter that the berries don't fall to the bottom like they sometimes do with blueberry muffins. The excellent flavors of wheat and buttermilk of the bread go really well with the tang of the blueberries...and they look pretty.

I only made half the batter, so it was about 1/2 cup of blueberries for this one. For the full recipe I would put in a cup of the blue beauties. Although you can certainly add some butter to the slices once baked, there is enough butter in the batter that you don't need it. With the blueberries bursting with warm juices, you really don't need anything else...except maybe a cup of tea.

Aunt May's Irish Soda Bread with Blueberries(the blueberries are not in Aunt May's version, but are yummy)
4 cups all-purpose flour (I used 2 cups all-purpose and 2 cups Irish whole meal flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons sugar
8 oz. (1 stick) cold butter, in thin slices
2 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 cup blueberries
Sift the dry ingredients over the butter and cut in well with a fork or pastry blender.  Add the buttermilk and mix just until moist - don’t over-handle. Some dry stuff is OK, but the dough should be sticky. Turn dough out onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, flatten the dough lightly, then pat on the blueberries. Pull dough gently over the fruit and pat into a rough circle. Cut a cross on top. Bake 45 minutes at 3500 F. Cool a bit before slicing.


  1. Anonymous2:53 PM

    Have you made this recipe using only the KAF whole meal flour? What difference do you see in using half whole meal and half white flour?

  2. I've only made it with a combination. Even with half and half, the texture is pretty dense, more dense than the same recipe made with all all-purpose flour. I think if you were to use all whole meal that you would want to increase the baking soda and baking powder to keep it from turning into a brick.

  3. Looks delicious. I've nevr thought of adding fresh fruit to a soda bread before, only ever raisins. Looks delicious. I can image it lightly toasted and spread with some cream cheese or lemon curd - yum!

  4. Oh that is beautiful. Blueberries go so perfectly with so many more foods than we normally think. I will try this one and with the KA irish flour too! All I need is a kitchen and time ...