Apple sauce Irish soda bread

Irish or not, your eyes will certainly be smiling when you taste this yummy soda bread. Made to share in celebration of  St. Patrick’s Day at our photo shoot today, this recipe was easy and quick, and baked itself to perfection! Irish soda bread traditionally has raisins in it, but this time dried cranberries were used in place of the raisins.

Even with all the expensive photography equipment available at the photo shoot, we still used a cell phone to take the picture! (“The best laid plans…”) A piece of the bread found it’s way into the styling for one of the photographs to appear in the August issue of Create & Decorate. A very productive loaf of bread!

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup low fat buttermilk  (if you don’t have buttermilk, see below*)

1/2 cup apple sauce

2 tablespoons margarine, melted

1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 8-inch round baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

3. In small bowl, combine buttermilk, apple sauce and margarine.

4. Add apple sauce mixture to flour mixture; stir until mixture forms a ball.

5. Turn out dough onto well-floured surface; with floured hands, knead (choice of) dried cranberries or raisins into dough. Pat into 7-inch round pan.

6. Place dough in prepared pan. Cut cross in top of dough, 1/4 inch deep with kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Lightly spray top of dough with nonstick cooking spray.

7. Bake for 35- 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert to release from pan, and turn right side up to cool completely on a wire rack.

* Noelle researched a terrific way to create your own buttermilk: Mix one cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, or lemon juice. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes. This is how I made the buttermilk for the Irish soda bread shown above.

This flavorful bread is worthy of baking the other 364 days of the year as well!

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