Spotted dog bread is a type of soda bread in which baking soda is used for leavening rather than the yeast, and with additional ingredients such as raisins, honey and nuts, just like a fruit cake. It tastes best on the day it is baked. If you prefer not to break the tradition, then it' shall not contain raisins, honey, yogurt, chocolate,sour cream, etc. etc. .
The cross is used to help with the baking of the bread by allowing air circulation so that the bread rises better. The cross also serves as a guideline for even slices.
- Preheat the oven to 165C/325F. Combine together flours, baking soda, salt and sift into a large mixing bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in raisins and caraway seeds.
- In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt and honey until blended. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface and knead until dough is smooth.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place on lightly greased baking sheet. Make a cross incision with a sharp knife, about 1/3 inch deep into top of loaf. Brush with milk and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack.