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Festive Fruit Soda Bread

Yield 2 loaves (serving size: 12 servings per loaf)


  • 3 cups warm water
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried Calimyrna figs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 158
  • caloriesfromfat 13 %
  • fat 2.3 g
  • satfat 1.2 g
  • monofat 0.6 g
  • polyfat 0.2 g
  • protein 3.5 g
  • carbohydrate 32 g
  • fiber 1.9 g
  • cholesterol 13 mg
  • iron 1.3 mg
  • sodium 267 mg
  • calcium 59 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl; let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 375°.

  3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through baking soda) in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (Flour mixture and butter can also be combined in a food processor; pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.) Add reserved fruit; toss well to combine. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine the buttermilk, orange rind, lemon rind, and egg in a bowl, and stir with a whisk. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist. Let stand 2 minutes.

  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly for 1 minute with floured hands. Divide the dough in half; shape each half into an 8 x 4-inch oval loaf. Place the loaves on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. Make 1 lengthwise cut 3/4-inch-deep across the top of each loaf using a sharp knife. Brush the loaves with 2 teaspoons milk; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° (do not remove the bread from oven); bake an additional 25 minutes or until loaves are browned on the bottom and sound hollow when tapped. Remove the loaves from pan, and cool on a wire rack.