Posted by: 4whateveritsworth | February 25, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day Is On The Horizon: Time for Irish Soda Bread


 

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, it’s time to share a recipe for Irish Soda Bread. Over the years I have amassed a number of recipes for this delicious cake-like treat. Each recipe is fairly similar, with subtle changes, like substituting buttermilk for milk, increasing or reducing the sugar or salt, incorporating eggs or not, and adding or omitting raisins and caraway seeds. In the end, they are each delicious. Personally, I love incorporating buttermilk (it adds to the richness of the dough) but, if you prefer not to add buttermilk to your grocery list, milk works well.  I also prefer including raisins, and omitting the caraway seeds, but that’s strictly a personal taste. (I recently learned that leftover Buttermilk can be frozen in ice cube trays or by the cup. While it separates slightly when frozen, it is fine when used for baking.)

Quick and Easy Irish Soda Bread

2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
6 T. butter or Smart Balance
2/3 c. raisins (dark or golden or a mix)
1 c. milk or buttermilk
2 t. caraway seeds (optional)

Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Use a pastry blender or your fingers to incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles the consistency of small peas. Stir in the raisins (and caraway, if desired). Add buttermilk slowly, just enough until the dough is moistened and holds together. It may not require the full cup of buttermilk. Mix thoroughly using your hands (dusted with flour).

Shape the dough into a round loaf on a prepared (greased) cookie sheet. Cut an “X” about 1/4 inch deep and 4 inches long into the batter from edge to edge. Bake at 375 degrees about 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown and the center is firm.

If you do not have the time to bake, check with your local bakery for Irish Soda Bread.  Many bakeries sell them this time of year, and some even carry them year round.

 

Until my next post, 4 whatever it’s worth…..

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