Recipe for homemade Wholemeal Irish Soda Bread with molasses and buttermilk. Top with delicious homemade grape preserve

1 cup self raising flour
1 cup fine wholemeal flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons whole, rolled oats
275ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon molasses or honey
flour for dusting
a handful of oats, to finish

Muscadel grape preserve:
400g red, seedless grapes
100g granulated sugar
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
45ml muscadel (substitute with sherry or port)
pinch of salt

How to
Preheat the oven to 180º C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the self raising flour, wholemeal flour, salt and baking soda. Add any remaining sifted husks to the bowl. Stir in the walnuts and oats. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the buttermilk and molasses. Stir the mixture thoroughly until the the dough comes together. Turn out onto a well floured board and shape into a round.

Place the round onto the lined baking sheet, scatter over a handful of oats and dust lightly with all-purpose flour. Slash the top with a sharp, smooth bladed knife. Bake for 40 minutes until nicely browned on top and the base is crusty and hollow sounding when tapped. Cool on a wire rack to prevent the base from sweating.

Muscadel grape preserve:
Rinse the grapes thoroughly and drain off any excess water. Place in a saucepan with the sugar and bring slowly up to the boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the lemon juice and simmer on a medium high heat for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is reduced and syrupy. Add the muscadel and a tiny pinch of salt. Boil for another 5 minutes on high, stirring all the while to prevent catching and sticking to the bottom. Pour into a sterilised jar and seal while still hot. Once opened, store in the refrigerator.

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Recipe provided by Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36, a food blog by Dianne Bibby. For more details on monthly cooking classes hosted in Johannesburg, email [email protected].