Bonnag is a traditional bread-like breakfast or tea-time sweet loaf native to the Isle of Man. I combined several traditional versions to come up with my own version, with measurements for the American cook, using American volume based measuring cups. You can use any dried berry you like in this, I used cranberries.
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice or 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 1 cup skim milk, scant (or any type of milk you prefer)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- salt (a pinch)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons mixed spice or 1 1⁄2 teaspoons apple pie spice or 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 3⁄4 cup dried berries
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon milk, for brushing top
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C) and have ready a greased 8" round cake tin.
- Place lemon juice into a measuring cup, then pour in enough milk to fill it to the 1 cup line; do not stir; set aside for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together the dry ingredients, then rub in the butter with your fingers until it has been incorporated into the flour; stir in berries.
- Add the vanilla and the milk mixture, stirring to enough to combine, leaving no dry patches; be careful not to overmix.
- If the dough appears overly wet and sticky, you may need to add some extra flour - this will vary based on the humidity of the day; the dough should be somewhat tacky and wet, but not like a wet batter.
- Sprinkle some extra flour onto a clean surface and then a bit more onto the top, dusting your hands as well; knead gently and very very briefly - only a few times, just to form the dough into a soft, still slightly wet ball.
- Place the dough into the prepared pan and slash the surface with a big X using a sharp knife; brush the top with a little bit of milk.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the bread has risen, is golden brown, and sounds hollow on the bottom.