Sharing a seriously fun love for food

Irish Freckle Bread

Irish Freckle Bread

Though I’m not prone to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, it seems appropriate to give a nod to this charming old holiday. No green beer here but instead a fruit and nut studded loaf that creates a celebration fit for a Saint!

In flipping through dozens of recipes for the traditional Irish Soda Bread, I ran across this gem in one of my favorite “go to” cookbooks for baking guidance – “The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion”. It’s a fabulous book loaded with history and tips on all things baking. With a few tweaks for personal flavor preference, the outcome is almost addictive! This loaf is full of luscious dried fruit – golden raisins, currants, plump dried apricots and dates – all steeped in rich, black tea.

This medley of flavor is nestled into a beautiful whole wheat batter balanced with the crunch of toasted walnuts and deep but subtle sweetness from brown sugar.

Before baking, this quick bread is dusted with a sprinkling of sugar crystals creating a delicate finish to the top crust of this golden loaf.

A nutty, fruity bread – perfect for breakfast or brunch.

Or maybe whip up a batch of whipped cream or whiskey sauce for a tantalizing dessert! An absolutely delicious bite but no need to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy this delectable Irish Freckle Bread!

Irish Freckle Bread

1 cup golden raisins

½ cup currants

1 cup dried apricots, chopped into small pieces – about 30 apricots

1 cup dates, chopped into small pieces – about 22 dates

1 cup hot strong black tea, brewed with two tea bags

1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white whole-wheat flour

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1 extra-large egg

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine the raisins, currants, chopped apricots and chopped dates in a mixing bowl.

Pour the hot tea over the fruit and stir to mix together. Allow the fruit to steep in the tea until completely cool, about 15 minutes stirring frequently.

In a large mixing bowl add the brown sugar along with white whole-wheat flour, the pastry flour, baking powder and kosher salt. Mix on medium speed until the dry ingredients are blended together, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the fruit and tea along with the butter, blending on low speed until the fruit is mixed into the batter, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the egg, mixing on low for about 2 minutes.

Scoop the batter into an 8” round cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar over the top of the bread.

Bake in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the bread tests done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the bread cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the bread out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes one 8-inch round loaf.

Irish Freckle Bread, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

March 13, 2019
: Make one 8-inch round loaf.

This loaf is full of luscious dried fruit - golden raisins, currants, plump dried apricots and dates – all steeped in rich, black tea. This medley of flavor is nestled into a beautiful whole wheat batter balanced with the crunch of toasted walnuts and a deep but subtle sweetness from brown sugar.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup currants
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped into small pieces – about 30 apricots
  • 1 cup dates, chopped into small pieces – about 22 dates
  • 1 cup hot strong black tea, brewed with two tea bags
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
Directions
  • Step 1 Combine the raisins, currants, chopped apricots and chopped dates in a mixing bowl.
  • Step 2 Pour the hot tea over the fruit and stir to mix together. Allow the fruit to steep in the tea until completely cool, about 15 minutes stirring frequently.
  • Step 3 In a large mixing bowl add the brown sugar along with white whole-wheat flour, the pastry flour, baking powder and kosher salt. Mix on medium speed until the dry ingredients are blended together, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Step 4 Add the fruit and tea along with the butter, blending on low speed until the fruit is mixed into the batter, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Step 5 Stir in the egg, mixing on low for about 2 minutes.
  • Step 6 Scoop the batter into an 8” round cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Step 7 Sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar over the top of the bread.
  • Step 8 Bake in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour and 10 or until the bread tests done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Step 9 Let the bread cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the bread out on a wire rack to cool completely.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Subscribe to Preserving Good Stock’s weekly newsletter and never miss a recipe!