Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish soda bread made with rolled oats – a very Irish ingredient – and California Figs. It’s a cross between classic Irish brown soda bread and the richer, American version. White whole wheat and whole wheat pastry flours add whole grain goodness. Soaking the figs and oats in buttermilk helps guarantee moistness. Serve this loaf any time of day – toasted for breakfast, with a sliver of Irish cheddar for lunch, or as an accompaniment to your favorite soup or stew with your evening meal.
California Fig and Oat Soda Bread
- 2 cups buttermilk reduced-fat or regular
- 1 cup Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and chopped
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats divided
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or cake flour
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, chopped Figs and oats. Set aside to soften for 1 hour.
- Adjust rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a separate large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. With pastry blender or clean fingers, mix in butter till butter is the size of small peas. Add Fig-buttermilk mixture, stirring to form a soft dough.
- With lightly floured or oiled hands, knead the dough (it will be sticky) in the bowl, about 10 turns, and form it into a ball. (Or, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface to knead).
- Place ball of dough on a parchment-lined or oiled, foil-lined baking sheet. Pat to a 7-inch diameter circle. With a knife, cut a cross in the top of the bread.
- Bake for 23 to 28 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through, covering with foil after 15 to 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Bread is done with internal temperature reaches 190° measured with an instant-read thermometer. Cool thoroughly on wire rack before slicing.
Recipe and photo by Lorelle Del Matto