With St. Patrick's Day coming up next week, many foodies may already be planning what grub to prepare for the feast day of Ireland's Patron Saint. To help you plan for the upcoming festivity, we will be will featuring St. Patrick's Day-themed recipes for the next few days - after all, a party is never complete without great food!
And while recipes for green-colored treats may be a-dime-a-dozen these days, we would like to start our St. Patrick's Day food series with something a bit more rustic - a traditional Irish bread flavored with dried fruits and spices.
Sarah Cook of BBC Good Food described this bread as "a traditional Irish loaf that uses bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast - this version is sweetly spiced with fruit and oats."
An melange of dried fruits give the basic dough great flavors. The bold tastes and varied tartness and sweetness of raisins, sultanas, dates and mixed peel are all embraced by mixed spice, which serves as an umbrella to bind everything together.
Aside from the natural sweetness of the dried fruits, the recipe also uses a combination of two kinds of sugars - caster and demerara. For those not familiar, Gourmet Sleuth explains that demerara sugar "is light brown sugar crystals that originated from Demerara, Guyana." If it's not available in your local grocery store, light brown sugar could be used as substitute.
Try baking this special bread for St. Patrick's Day and let us know what you think!
Tip: using a silicone baking mat for this recipe will lessen or even eliminate the need for dusting the dough with additional flour.