Fig and Anise Irish Soda Bread…


Hey guys! Just wanted to share a recipe with y’all.  I was inspired to make a Fig and Anise bread by my longing and missing Terra Breads in Vancouver.  They make the most amazing Fig and Anise loaf and I wish I could get it here.  This recipe, by Kristine Kidd is from her Williams-Sonoma Cookbook and is, as she mentions, an Irish Soda bread recipe and therefore really nothing like the Terra Breads loaf.  I modified it further by adding pumpkin seeds (I wanted to add walnuts like the Terra Breads version but I didn’t have any!) and I used soy milk + apple cider vinegar instead of buttermilk.  This bread is so good with a slab of cheddar or just toasted with some butter. Enjoy!

Fig and Anise Quick Bread from
For a memorable finish to a company dinner, offer a plate of assorted farmstead cheeses, such as a fresh goat’s milk cheese, a bloomy rind cheese, an aged hard cheese, and a pungent blue, with thin wedges of this aromatic round loaf. A glass of Port is a perfect accompaniment.
Makes 1 round loaf
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole- wheat flour
3 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon aniseed, lightly crushed in a mortar, plus more for sprinkling
½ teaspoon baking soda 
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature 
1 cup (about 6 ounces) coarsely chopped dried figs
¾ cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing 
1 egg
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, 1 teaspoon aniseed, baking soda, and salt. Scatter the butter over the top. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the figs. 
In a small bowl, whisk together the ¾ cup buttermilk and the egg until blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk mixture into the well. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients just until blended and a soft dough forms. 
Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 20 turns. Form the dough into a ball. Place in the prepared pan and flatten to 1½ inches thick. Cut a large cross 1/3 inch deep into the dough. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with aniseed. 
Bake until the bread is light brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 40 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and then turn right side up to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into thin wedges.

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