Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day! I apologize for not getting this recipe up sooner but sometimes life gets in the way! But this bread would be good any time, not just on St. Paddy’s Day!
So no, I am not one bit Irish, but there is nothing more that I love than being festive! So here is a great recipe for an Irish classic, Irish Soda Bread. It’s name representing the use of baking soda as the leavening agent instead of traditional yeast. And this is what makes this recipe so great! Unlike a traditional bread dough, there is no tedious kneading or rising for this dough; just a quick mix, form it into a round, and bake!
This bread will be accompanying my Mom’s awesome corned beef and cabbage that she is making for the family (she’s Italian, but also festive)!
4 cups flour, plus ½ tbsp for raisins
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch dice
1 ¾ cups cold buttermilk
1 tsp orange zest
½ cup raisins
4 tsp caraway seeds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to mixer and combine.
With the mixer on low-speed add in the butter. Mix until the butter is the size of peas.
Measure out the buttermilk, crack the egg into the milk, and lightly scramble the egg in the milk.
Add the zest to the mixer then with the mixer on low, slowly pour in the milk mixture and mix till just combined.
In a separate bowl toss together the raisins and 1/2 tbsp flour. This keeps the raisins from sinking to the bottom of the bread.
Add the raisins and caraway seeds to the dough and mix to evenly distribute.
The dough is REALLY sticky so put some flour on your hands and dump the dough out onto a floured surface. It won’t all fall out of the bowl at once, you really have to scrape it out. Once on the counter just sort of fold the dough onto itself to form it together and make a round. It takes no time at all.
Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and slice an X across the top. (This is traditional of Irish soda bread)
Bake for 45-55 minutes and test with a cake tester. The cake tester should come out clean. Also if you tap the top of the bread it should sound hollow.
Let the bread cool slightly on a cooling rack and serve it warm or at room temperature.
With the leftover orange zest I had I decided to whip up some orange honey butter to smear on the slices. Just cream together softened butter, the zest, and some honey. It makes the perfect accompaniment to this delicious bread!
Irish Soda Bread