Soda breads are easy to make and using wholemeal flour boosts the nutrients, fiber and general healthiness of these traditional English, Irish, Scottish and European breads.
Adding spices, dried fruits and nuts adds extra nutrients and enhances the flavor. Spicy fruit breads are nice as delicious snacks with tea or coffee, thick-cut and toasted for breakfast or even as a dessert or party food.
Below are two delicious recipes that include nutrition summaries. These breads have relatively high calories, moderate levels of fat, but are high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
You cans easily adapt the ingredients to suit your needs by changing the dried fruit, herbs, spices and nuts (which can be omitted).
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Roast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in the oven for about 30 minutes (toast them to a light brown color). Remove the skins by rolling the nuts in a clean tea towel while hot. Set aside to cool. The chop or crush by placing in to a bag and banging with a rolling pin. Increase the oven temperature to hot (400 degrees F; 205 degrees C). Grease a medium size bread tin, or deep rectangular cake tin and line with parchment. Spray the parchment with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour.Sift and combine the dry ingredients: the baking powder, flours, sugar, pepper and salt. Add to a large bowl and sprinkle in the fennel seeds. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Add the olive oil and the mil, orange zest. Mix the flour mixture into the beaten eggs and combine until the ingredients are well incorporated. Mix in the chopped figs and hazelnuts. Transfer the mixture into the greased and lined bread tin and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes. Test with a skewer to ensure the inside of the loaf is cooked. Then remove from the oven and set aside on a rack to cool. Turn out of the tin and remove the parchment after about 5 minutes and then allow the loaf to cool completely.
Nutrition Summary for One Slice of Bread
(about 5% of the mixture when cooked)
This version of the Classic Irish Soda Bread is made with whole wheat flour which gives it a moist texture and a nutty taste that goes well with the plump raisins and walnuts (instead of the traditional currants).
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (210 degrees C). Grease or spay a baking sheet with oil and line with a sheet of parchment. Sift the baking soda and salt, added to both the flours into a large, wide bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and add the raisins and walnuts. Mix in the flour from the sides into the center using a wooden spoon, until just combined. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently and briefly knead the dough, and then shape it into a ball, then press down to flatten a little. Transfer it to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Make two cuts into the dough at right angles.Bake in the preheated oven for 40 - 50 minutes. Test with a skewer or top the bottom of the loaf. It should make a hollow sound. When cooked removed from the oven, and cool, covered with a cloth on a rack.
Nutrition summary for one slice (about 10% of the mixture)
(Note: it is a rich soda bread but is very nutritious)