Irish Soda Bread

Ah, Irish Soda Bread! The simple combination of flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Of all the traditional foods served to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, this is my favorite. This easy classic bread is tender, chewy, and light. Most of the sweetness comes from the raisins and a crackly-crunch sugar crust. I couldn’t let St. Patrick’s Day go by without a nod to this delicious bread. Butter? Check. Marmalade? Check. Honey? Check.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake: 50-60 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups flour, sifted

1 stick butter, room temp, cut into pieces

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups raisins, soaked in warm water and drained

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 + 1/8 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp caraway seeds (optional)

1 1/2 cups buttermilk or soured milk (adding vinegar)

Topping:

Milk

1/4 tsp sugar

 

Directions:

Set oven to 400 degrees

Butter an 8-9 inch springform pan or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Measure out raisins in a bowl and cover with water. Microwave for 1 minute, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and caraway seeds. Once combined, add drained, dried raisins and stir to coat with flour.  Sprinkle the butter pieces over the flour and work them in as needed so all parts are worked evenly.

In a separate bowl, or in a measuring cup, add the baking soda and baking powder to the buttermilk. Gently stir to let the chemical reaction work.

Quickly and gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using a spatula or wooden spoon just until it looks like a shaggy mess.  Try not to over mix. The dough will be very wet but should be firm enough to hold its shape. With floured hands, form a round, 10 inches diameter in a springform pan or on a lined baking sheet.

Then using a floured dough scraper or sharp knife, deeply score the bread into 4 wedges, lightly cutting. Sprinkle with flour for a rustic look or brush with milk and dust with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and rotate. Continue to bake for 15-20 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.  Serve with butter or honey or Both!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Thanks for stopping by,

Eileen

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