Irish Soda Bread

by feastonthecheap on March 16, 2010

Mary Anne here. If you’re a novice baker and intimidated by the mere thought of bread-making, then this loaf’s for you! Irish Soda bread literally takes fifteen minutes to prepare and under an hour to bake. I whipped up these two loaves right after work and still had time to prep dinner and start writing my recipe!

Whether you’re Irish by birth or only for the day, may lady luck keep smiling on you. Have a safe and happy St. Paddy’s day!

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Irish Soda Bread
Makes 2 Loaves

Ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour – stock
1½ Tablespoons baking powder – stock
1½ Tablespoons baking soda – stock
½ Teaspoon salt – stock
4 Tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature and sliced – stock
1½ Tablespoons caraway seeds – stock
1 cup currants or raisins or golden raisins (optional) – stock
1¾ cups buttermilk, shaken well – $1.15
1 egg, lightly beaten – stock
2 Tablespoons honey – stock
For the glaze:
1 Tablespoon melted butter – stock
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Pantry: $1.15
Total Per Loaf: $0.58

Directions;
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a large baking sheet, tapping out the excess flour.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

3. Using two dinner knives as cross swords, cut the softened butter into the dry ingredients. Continue working the butter into the flour mixture, now using your fingertips, until its texture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the caraway seeds and raisins/currants.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, honey, and buttermilk. (Don’t forget to really shake the buttermilk before measuring into the mix.)

5. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry mix and stir briefly, to moisten evenly. The dough will be very lumpy.

6. Turn the sticky dough out onto a floured counter top. Flour your hands and gently knead the dough with over-under motions about 8 or 10 times. The dough will be soft and still a bit sticky.

7. Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into 2 equal-size balls. Pat them into a domed shape, about 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Cut an “x” about 1/2 inch deep into the top of each loaf. Using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter across the top of each loaf.

8. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Test for doneness by tapping the bottom of each loaf. There will be a hollow sound.

9. Allow to cool before slicing. Re-warm the bread and serve with lots of creamy butter!