Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Pear And Rosemary Soda Bread

Well, I had a big birthday and I got gifts, including cookbooks, of course.  One of them was this - Australian Pears vol. 3.  Pears always seem kinda drab to me, so cooking with them seems like the right way to go.  And to be honest, somewhat to my surprise, I found some likely lads that I wanted to make.

So here we have a pear soda bread, which is a loaf with pears on top.  And nothing wrong with that!  I usually think of soda bread as a quick, easy Irish loaf, great to whiz together for afternoon tea or dinner.  This savoury loaf would go very well with a hearty bowl of soup or (Irish) stew.

crusty soda bread ready for buttering


500g. plain flour

2 tsp bicarb of soda

1 tsp sea salt

400 mLs buttermilk or yoghurt

A big pinch of saffron threads (optional)

A little milk, if needed

1-2 Beurre Bosc pears or 4 Corellas

1-2 tbs olive oil

a dash of maple syrup (optional)

2-3 sprigs rosemary (use more if you fancy; they suggest 12!)

2 tsp sea salt flakes


Stir the saffron, if using, into the buttermilk and allow to infuse

Sift the flour, bi-carb and salt into a large mixing bowl

Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, stirring as you go

Now bring it together into a soft dough - adding a bit of milk or a bit of flour if the dough is too wet or too dry

Tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute

Drop it into a lightly greased loaf pan (or use a loaf tin liner)

Slice the pears lengthwise, then in half or thirds, and put them into a bowl

Now drizzle the olive oil over, and give them a gentle toss

Cut half a dozen evenly-spaced slits in the top of the dough

Whack 2 or 3 pieces of pear into each slit

Sprinkle the maple syrup over the dough

Cast the rosemary leaves over the top

Gleefully scatter the sea salt flakes over it all

Place in a pre-heated 200C oven for about 40 minutes - you want it to sound hollow when you tap its bottom (and a skewer in the middle should come out clean)

Tip it onto a wire rack to cool, or if you prefer a soft crust, swaddle it in a tea-towel

Eat warm with butter 


The dough was incredibly sticky, and required a lot of extra flour to bring it together  

I added saffron 'cos I reckon it needed a bit of flavour

Their recipe says to use 4 Corella pears; I had Beurre Boscs which are bigger so I found that 1-2 pears were fine

I didn't have any buttermilk so I made up a batch: 1 tbs of lemon juice into one cup of milk; stir and wait.  It looks horribly curdled but that's just fine

This is a very soft dough, not like yeasted bread; more like a big scone

ingredients gathered 

add the saffron threads to the buttermilk

stir in the buttermilk

slap it into the lined/greased loaf tin

toss the pear pieces in the olive oil

ready for 40 mins. in the 200C oven

golden and ready to eat with lots of butter 

let it cool just a bit before eating

have a chunky slice with butter, my dears 

Delicious with a cup of tea, too!  Mr P. had 2 big slices.  We both had jam AND butter.  I reckon you could use other herbs, and maybe some spices and other fruit like apples.  So you can make it sweet or savoury, plain or spicy, whatever takes your fancy.  

     pear and rosemary - artwork by sherryspickings


  1. what a delicious soda bread was made by Mrs Pickings!

  2. yum! i just got into using rosemary with fruit, and this pear/rosemary combo sounds sosososo good (:

  3. What an interesting idea for soda bread! Different and really creative. Easy to make, too;, which is always a good thing. I agree about pears -- unless they're really ripe, much better to bake with them than eat out of hand. Anyway, good stuff -- thanks!

    1. thanks KR. I'm going to try this again but with apples and cheese. cheers S

  4. I love pear and rosemary together. I once made a pear and rosemary tea cake based on one I ate at a café as I liked the flavours so much. Nice rustic look to this one! :D

  5. I would never have thought to add pears to a soda bread. Sounds delicious :)


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