Saturday, March 22, 2014

Irish Soda Bread

In honor of St. Patrick's Day on (yes, I know, last) Monday, I made a batch of Irish Soda Bread.  I love Irish Soda Bread, but I don't make it too often - really, only once a year.  After making this again, I realized I really should make it more often!

I am a bit nontraditional when I make my Irish Soda Bread - I like to add a mix of raisins, cranraisins, and (if I have them) golden raisins.  I also put less flour in my batter, and consequently bake the bread in a loaf pan.  It gives the bread a different shape, but I honestly think the tender crumb and beautiful appearance makes up for not having a free-standing loaf.

Try the recipe and let me know what you think!

After I add the wet and dry ingredients together, I mix the batter very, very gently - and just until incorporated. 

Then gently place in a greased loaf pan.  You could smooth the top of the batter at this point, but I like the interest the "craggy" top gives the bread.  Your choice!

The bread, just out of the oven.

Ready for a pat of butter - and maybe a wee bit of honey? 

Yum!  Happy Late St. Patrick's Day!

Irish Soda Bread

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup mixed light and dark raisins, and cranraisins, soaked in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes and drained
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously grease a 9 by 5-inch bread pan.  In food processor bowl, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Pulse in the butter until combined.  Pour dry/butter mixture into a bowl.  (Alternatively, you could place the dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in the butter with a pastry blender). Stir in raisins.

Add the buttermilk, vanilla and egg to the flour mixture. Stir just until well moistened.  Place batter into prepared pan.

Bake for one hour. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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