Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients, Serves 4-6:
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut up into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup golden raisins or currants
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cup butter milk
  • 1 large egg
We decided to throw a St. Patrick's Day party this year and so I decided to cook authentic Irish dishes for the first time!  On the top of the list was Irish Soda Bread, a wonderfully rich and flavorful bread that doesn't use yeast and is super easy to make!

First, pre-heat oven to 425ºF.  Next, we mix all the try ingredients in a bowl.  I used a mixer bowl, but you can use any large bowl.  Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, butter, raisins/currants and optional caraway seeds.  Add the buttermilk and egg and mix until a smooth sticky consistency is achieved.  Don't over mix!

Sprinkle a layer of flour on a cutting board and place the dough in the middle and knead for about 15 seconds.  Place a sheet of waxed/parchment paper on a baking sheet and place the dough in a nice round mound in the middle of the baking sheet.  Using a knife, make two cross incisions on the top of the dough, cutting about 1 1/2" deep into the dough.  You can optionally sprinkle the top of the dough with some flour if you want it to have that "artisian" look!  Pop it into the oven and cook for 35-45 minutes.  It is done when you tap on the bottom of the bread and you hear a hallow sound.

Take the bread out of the oven and let cool, then slice it up and watch it disappear right before your eyes!


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