Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread cut into quarters on a black board

Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread

I have been using spelt flour this week to make a sweet soda bread using one of my favourite combinations – fig and honey!

Ingredients you will need to make this Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread

All the ingredients needed to make Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread laid out on a board.
Figs, honey, butter, white spelt flour, wholemeal spelt flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and buttermilk.
  • 8 ounces / 225 grams white spelt flour
  • 8 ounces / 225 grams wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 ounces / 55 grams softened butter
  • 6 ounces / 170 grams soft dried figs
  • 2 tablespoons of runny honey
  • ½ – ¾ pint buttermilk (or sour milk)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / 390°F / Gas Mark 6.
  2. Grease and base line a 2 litre cast iron casserole dish.
  3. Sieve the flours, salt, bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Tip any bran remaining in the sieve into the bowl.
  4. Rub in the softened butter.
  5. Remove the hard stalks from the figs and cut into raisin size pieces and add to the mixture.
  6. Stir the honey into ½ pint of buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients.
  7. Mix to a soft dough adding more buttermilk if necessary.
  8. Tip the dough out onto a floured working surface and knead very lightly until smooth.
  9. Form into a round to fit your casserole dish and mark the top with a cross.
  10. Place the dough into the casserole and cover with the lid and bake in the preheated oven for about 55 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
  11. Tip out of the casserole dish and brush the surface with warmed honey.
  12. Cool on a wire rack.
Whole Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread seen from above on a black board.

Equipment you will need to make this Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread

Apart from the usual kitchen items and tools you will need a cast iron casserole pan – the one I used for this recipe was approximately 20cm in diameter / 2 litre / 2 kilograms. I do also sometimes use a larger 2.7 litre casserole pan for my soda bread as well. If you only have a larger 2.7 litre pan then you can still use this to make this soda bread recipe, it will just fill up less of the pan.

Spelt flour

Spelt is an early form of wheat dating back to approximately 5000 BC and was widely cultivated in Europe until medieval times, then it was gradually replaced with modern wheat. By the 20th century very little spelt was being cultivated. The organic farming movement revived its popularity as spelt requires less fertiliser than wheat varieties and it is now being grown in the UK.

It is thought by many to be a healthier grain than modern hybridised wheat and can be substituted for wheat in many recipes. I like it’s nutty and slightly sweet flavour and prefer it to wheat flour when making soda bread.

For this recipe I use half white spelt flour and half wholemeal spelt flour.

Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread

Recipe by Scones Plus More Cuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

55

minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces / 225 grams white spelt flour

  • 8 ounces / 225 grams wholemeal spelt flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • 2 ounces / 55 grams softened butter

  • 6 ounces / 170 grams soft dried figs

  • 2 tablespoons of runny honey

  • ½ – ¾ pint buttermilk (or sour milk)

Directions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / 390°F / Gas Mark 6.
  • Grease and base line a 2 litre cast iron casserole dish.
  • Sieve the flours, salt, bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Tip any bran remaining in the sieve into the bowl.
  • Rub in the softened butter.
  • Remove the hard stalks from the figs and cut into raisin size pieces and add to the mixture.
  • Stir the honey into ½ pint of buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients.
  • Mix to a soft dough adding more buttermilk if necessary.
  • Tip the dough out onto a floured working surface and knead very lightly until smooth.
  • Form into a round to fit your casserole dish and mark the top with a cross.
  • Place the dough into the casserole and cover with the lid and bake in the preheated oven for about 55 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
  • Tip out of the casserole dish and brush the surface with warmed honey.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Ancient Grains Bread

This Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread is the latest in my series of soda breads using ancient grains – I love experimenting with ancient grains – see my Rye Soda Bread and Barleymeal Soda Bread and take a look at my older Irish Soda Bread with Ancient Grains compilation (Rye, Barley, Oats and Spelt). Also if you love the pairing of fig and honey as much as I do then please check out my Fig and Honey Scones recipe.

Serving ideas for Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread

Slice of Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread spread with butter and honey with loaf of the bread cut into quarters in the background.

Fig and Honey Spelt Soda Bread is delicious spread with butter and honey as a teatime treat. I also enjoyed it for lunch with butter and my favourite Duddleswell cheese, a local cheese made with sheep’s milk by Sussex High Weald Dairy.

Until next time ‘Happy Baking”!

Tanya

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