A sweet twist on Irish soda bread loaded with dried cherries and slivered almonds.
Irish soda bread is a quick and easy recipe because you don’t have to wait hours for the yeast to leaven the dough. The baking powder and eggs do all of the work to help make the dough rise providing instant gratification with minimal time.
This year for Saint Patrick’s Day, I decided to add a sweet twist to the traditional Irish soda bread recipe.
In recent years I used a base consisting of whole wheat, bread and all purpose flour, yogurt and baking soda. The recipe was rather simple and yielded a dry and chewy texture which is perfect for dipping into the liquid from boiled corned beef.
I was inspired by The Lovely Pantry’s recipe for Irish soda bread that incorporated currants and a sugar glaze. For this Irish soda bread recipe, I added sweet dried cherries and slivered almonds for additional crunch to the delightfully sweet bread.
The Irish Soda bread had a wonderfully delicate texture. It had attributes of a biscuit exterior and scone interior. The combination of sweet and tender cherries with the subtle crunch of the almonds was lovely. The bread was fantastic eaten warm with a pad of butter. I served the Irish soda bread with my baked honey mustard corned beef, and Irish coffee profiteroles with chocolate whiskey sauce for dessert for a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration feast!
The difference in bread texture
This Irish soda bread recipe yields bread with more of a biscuit-like texture versus a traditional chewy and harder crusted bread. Butter is used in the method which is different than traditional Irish soda bread. When water and flour are mixed and manipulated, gluten bonds form, giving you an elastic network and stretchy dough. When a high amount of butter is added to the mixture, and incorporated into the flour, the fat coats some of the proteins in the flour. The fat prevents gluten bonding from happening as easily. Gluten strands are formed but to a much lesser degrees. The texture is much more delicate and crumbles much easier, similar to biscuits or scones.