A twist on the typical Irish soda bread, this Fig & Fennel Soda Bread, served warm with melted butter, comes together quickly for a St. Patty’s Day treat!
St. Patty’s Day Celebration
For as long as I can remember, our family has been big into celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t know why. We aren’t Irish. It must be the corned beef and cabbage. At least for a day, we are Irish. Actually, I don’t believe the Irish even eat corned beef and cabbage, but they do eat Irish Soda Bread.
Back when I worked in a bakery, March was a busy month for preparing Irish soda bread. It flew off the shelves, but it never sparked JOY in me until I discovered this recipe from Learning Herbs. I have adapted it a little. The figs and the fennel seed just make the most wonderful flavor combination. Plus, doesn’t the name fig & fennel just sound like the cutest name for a café or quaint shop? Someday I am going to do something with that name. In the meantime, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Recipe for Fig & Fennel Irish Soda Bread
- 3/4 cup dried Black Mission Figs, sliced (about 12)
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier Liquor or Dark Rum
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose Einkorn flour
- 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat a cast-iron pan in the oven at 350° F.
Warm the Grand Marnier or Rum in a small saucepan and add the sliced, dried figs. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Set aside to soften and marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and fennel seeds.
In a glass mearing cup, mix together the wet ingredients: buttermilk, olive oil, and egg.
Create a well in the dry ingredients and add in your wet ingredients. Mix to combine.
Drain the figs, pat dry, and add the walnuts to the dough.
Place on a well-floured parchment sheet and shape into a small oval. You may be tempted to think you got the recipe wrong because the dough is wet. You will not be able to knead it. Shape as best you can.
Lift the sheet into the heated cast iron pan and cut an X or a cross into the top of the bread.
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve warm with butter and EnJOY!
Einkorn Flour is an ancient grain and one of nature's orignial wheat grains. Untouched by modern methods of hybridization, many people with gluten sensitivity can tolerate this grain. When using Einkorn, allow the dough to rest a bit after mixing in the wet ingredients because it absorbs more liquid than regular all-purpose flour.