- Nov 26, 2016
- central NC
In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd post a recipe for an authentic, traditional, Irish fruit bread or spotted dog. It seems at the time of the year when the men were working particularly hard in the fields, the farmer’s wife would reward them with a richer, sweeter bread than usual. According to her means she might throw in a fistful of currants or raisins, some sugar and an egg. The resulting bread, the traditional Irish ‘sweet cake’, had different names in different parts of the country including spotted dog, curnie cake and railway cake. This bread was also considered a treat for Sundays and special occasions. My version uses dried craisins and is delicious when served covered with raspberry-lime jam.
Cran-Raspberry Spotted Dog
Ingredients for the bread:
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cup dried craisins
Ingredients for the raspberry-lime jam:
4 cups raspberries
4 cups sugar
Zest and juice from 2 limes
Directions for the bread:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours. Sift in the baking soda. Pour the buttermilk into the center of the flour mixture and stir. Once the dough begins to take shape, pour in the craisins and lightly knead the mixture together. Shape the dough into a round, flattened ball. To create the traditional look of Irish soda bread, make an "X" on the top with a paring knife.
Lightly sprinkle some flour into a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Place the dough in it and bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from skillet and let cool completely.
Directions for the raspberry-lime jam:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
In an oven-safe dish, warm the sugar in the oven for about 15 minutes.
In a large pot, mash the raspberries, zest, and juice together, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
While stirring continuously, slowly add the warmed sugar. Allow the mixture to boil until it thickens into a gel, which could take up to 15 minutes. Once it is at the right consistency, remove from the heat and pour into glass jars. Allow to cool completely before serving.